Kenyan cement firm’s pretax profits up 15 per cent

Kenyan cement firm’s pretax profits up 15 per cent
Published: 17 August 2007

Kenya’s leading cement producer, Bamburi, has announced its half year pretax profits rising by 15 per cent to 2.24 billion shillings (about US$34m) from 1.955 billion shillings (US$29m) in the same period last year.

Company Chairman Richard Kemoli said the performance was particularly strong, resulting from steady growth in the private sector and infrastructure projects in neighboring Uganda ahead of Commonwealth Summit in November.

Kemoli said plans are underway to expand the firm’s Uganda plant and double production to 480,000tpa to meet the growing regional demand.

"Our results confirm the Group’s unique strengths to deliver value to its customers and shareholders in an increasingly dynamic regional market, particularly the rapid market growth across the region in spite of existing logistical challenges across East Africa to which the group responded with tenacity," he told journalists in Nairobi.

"To satisfy market demand, in the midst of longer planned industrial shutdowns, we imported clinker as we speed up our capacity expansion initiatives," said Kemoli.

"Export sales outside East Africa increased by 14 percent with higher volumes into Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. We maintained our commitment to satisfy domestic market demand."

Kemoli said that the Kenyan market had been strong this year compared to the drought ridden first half in 2006, noting that the firm expected the outlook for the second half of the year to remain positive.

The firm’s Managing Director Michael Puchercos said Bamburi was on course with its investment initiatives to improve efficiency and expand capacity. "We are on top gear with our production efficiency enhancement initiatives and capacity expansion projects in East Africa in order to satisfy the robust market demand across the region," Puchercos said.