NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 23 – BOC Kenya Limited has announced a Sh32 million investment upgrading of its factories.
Managing Director, John Kariuki, said on Thursday that the money was spent upgrading factory systems to meet global quality standards in production of medical gases, such as medicinal products.
“It’s a changing world and we now have to be in line with global standards if we are to remain competitive,” he said.
The new system will be able to separate filling and production of industrial gases from medical gas.
Mr Kariuki added in a statement that the upgrade will go a long way in creating accountability and efficiency of the system.
“The new system will go a long way in helping us be more accountable of our cylinders and we will be able to trace each cylinder to the point of filling should any queries arise.”
“The new system will enable the company focus on the changing customer’s needs, operational efficiency and cost management initiatives to sustain its profitability.”
There has been concern that energy prices were set to rise in the near future due to the increased number of pirates in the Indian Ocean.
Mr Kariuki echoed the sentiments saying: “The pirates force freighters to consider not plying the route. when they capture vessels prices on the ground rise due to diminishing reserves.”
At the same time, Mr Kariuki said that despite a projected challenging business environment for the year due to a global economic recession, the company still expects to maintain its growth momentum in the East Africa region.
Last year, the company registered a five percent dip in pre-tax profitability of Sh295 million compared to the previous year, mainly attributed to the challenges of increased operating costs driven by higher transport and energy prices.
Installation of the equipment started in February 2009 and was completed in mid-April this year.
The company is set for an Annual General Meeting (AGM) later this month to discuss dividend payout.
Company Directors have recommended a dividend payout of Sh4.80 per share, to bring the total dividend for the year to Sh6.80 per share.