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Uchumi sales soar

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 29 – Local supermarket retail chain Uchumi is predicting a sales turnover of more than Sh1 billion for the month of December.

Speaking to Capital Business, Uchumi Receiver Manager Jonathan Ciano indicated the supermarket had recorded a 27 percent increase in sales for the holiday season compared to the same period last year.

Ciano attributed the increase in sales to sustained competitive product pricing despite the increase in inflation rates compared to the same period last year.

“Another thing is that we have been opening our branches late going even to midnight.  Our customers have also been very understanding, the suppliers have offered us a lot to sell and last but not least our staff who have been superb,” Mr Ciano explained.

He said this combined with the on-going ‘Sisimuka’ promotion had ensured sustained traffic within the chain’s stores.

“This promotion is geared towards social responsibility which will see 15 children’s homes benefit from the proceeds. So far 12 homes have received something from the promotion,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Ciano revealed the chain paid Sh25 million to its shareholders on the debenture loans provided to the supermarket chain early this year.

“We paid at the rate of 10 percent which you must admit is not a dividend rate the chain was able to achieve even during its hey days,” Ciano stated.

The supermarket was looking for Sh800 million to get out of insolvency that had caused it to close shop for months in 2006.

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Mr Ciano expressed optimism that if all went according to plan, the supermarket should be back on the stock exchange in the next six months.

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