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Duty waiver hurting us, Eveready protests

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 24 – Eveready East Africa Ltd (EEAL) says it is loosing over Sh350 million annually as a result of the government allowing the importation of duty free dry cells into the country.

New Eveready EA chairman Moody Awori and the Managing Director Steve Smith warned that jobs in the sector continue to be threatened unless government enforces its own anti-dumping laws.

Addressing the company’s 42nd Annual General Meeting in Nakuru on Thursday the two said some companies had been allowed to import more than 100 million sub-standard batteries from Asia duty free.

The two demanded that the government takes immediate action to ensure fairness in the industry

“We have however adopted measures that would contribute positively to the growth of the company in the 2008/2009 Financial Year including restructuring, regional expansion and product diversification,” Mr Smith said

Mr Smith noted that the  company faced various challenges in the last one year that severely affected the company’s operations among them being the post-election violence which disrupted EEAL’s business in key market segments, the proliferation of substandard, duty free and therefore very low priced “D” batteries from China and dumped battery products from the EPZ.

He said the company was streamlining its operations to reduce costs and will leverage its strengths to regain and sustain its share of the mass market.

Shareholders of the company sanctioned it to amend its Company objects to facilitate product diversification and take advantage of any new business opportunities in Kenya and in the region.

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