, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 3 – Sameer Africa anticipates increased earnings in the next two years that will enable the company to start paying dividends to its shareholders by 2011, the company\’s chairman Naushad Merali has said on Friday.
Mr Merali said the company has been unable to pay dividends to the shareholders in the last three years as it was restructuring its operations and processes to reduce costs and contribute to growth and improved profitability.
He was addressing the shareholders during the company\’s Annual General Meeting at the company\’s head-offices offices in Nairobi.
The company\’s Managing Director Michael Karanja projected that the effects of the current global economic crisis would continue to be felt throughout 2009 particularly for auto manufacturers including tyre makers worldwide while new vehicle sales in 2009 are expected to decline which will have an impact on Sameer Africa\’s business.
Part of the growth strategy is penetration into the COMESA bloc and currently Sameer has a strong presence in 10 countries in the region which account for 30 percent of the company\’s total export volume.
The growth strategy also includes factory modernization, efficient logistics, development of better distribution system, outsourcing of non-core business and cost containment.
Sameer Africa will also spearhead the introduction of new products into the market such as the truck and bus tyres in the various market segments.
To remain competitive amidst an influx of cheap imports the company has partnered with Bridgestone and Dunlop to offer the market a diversified product range.
The development of the 2.8 billion shillings Sameer Africa Business Park which will be completed later this year is also expected to reflect positively on the Group\’s performance this year.
The company has already started the process of leasing out the facility with a positive response from both local and international tenants .
Sameer will be looking at expanding its present Export Processing Zones once the government puts in place the legal framework for economic zones.