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BOC posts 0.7pc profit growth

NAIROBI, August 22 – BOC Kenya Limited Friday announced an insignificant increase in its profits for the half year ended June 2008 from Sh127.7 million to Sh128.6 million.

BOC Kenya Managing Director John Kariuki said turnover increased to Sh618.6 million up from Sh615 million.

Kariuki attributed the performance to the low demand for the company’s products owing to the challenging operating environment earlier in the year, which also delayed some of the projects that they were undertaking.

This was the first time that the company was releasing its results on a calendar basis having changed its financial reporting year to end in December.

He explained that they were unable to access markets in Western Kenya, Northern Tanzania and Uganda, and estimated that they lost close to Sh60 million during the upheaval.

“The sharp rise in inflation, driven largely by the steel prices, power distribution and cooking gas costs have also put pressure on our bottom line,” he added.

The MD however said they were undertaking several cost-cutting measures and set out initiatives that would deliver improvement in their profitability.

He expressed optimism that they would be able to meet their targets in the second half of the year since the economy had shown signs of recovery.

“The board envisages a challenging business environment but is confident of a better second half,” he added referring to the increased power tariffs and inflation.

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The board recommended an interim dividend of Sh2 per share.

BOC Kenya has about 900 shareholders.

Its shares, however, and those of Carbacid remain suspended from the Nairobi Stock Exchange pending a ruling on BOC’s intended takeover of the latter which was challenged in court by the Capital Markets Authority.

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