, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 16 – Sameer Africa Ltd (SAL) posted a positive year in 2009 with pre-tax profits growing by 33 percent to Sh221 million and turnover growing eight percent to Sh3.2 billion.
Following the positive results Sameer Africa will for the first time in four years pay its shareholders a dividend at 50 cents per share.
The Chairman Naushad Merali who was addressing SAL’s 41st Annual General Meeting at the ultra-modern Sameer Business Park said however that the year had many challenges with a slow economic growth at about three GDP growth, high fuel, utilities costs and runaway material prices critical for tyre manufacture.
Sameer Africa had not paid dividends in recent years to focus on restructuring its operations and processes to reduce costs in order to contribute to growth and improved profitability.
Mr Merali said the Sh2.2 billion Sameer Business Park will be ready in June and said talks were already underway with government to temporarily host the proposed IT city at the venue. The Park boasts of 400,000 sq feet of office and showroom space suitable for the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO’s) and discerning business community looking for modern and ambient facilities.
It has more than 600 car parking spaces and is connected with fiber optic cable where tenants will have access to unlimited broadband. The chairman said the Sameer Business Park will complement their core business of tyre making. He added that a program to modernise and improve SAL’s manufacturing facilities will continue this year.
The Managing Director, Michael Karanja pointed out that the recovery strategies that SAL has been implementing since mid- 2008 are working.
Mr Karanja said SAL had completed the implementation of modern SAP Computer system to support business operations / processes and bring about efficiencies. In 2010, the company anticipates sustained material cost increases especially for natural rubbers driven by supply /demand pressures as the economies around the globe recovers.
Mr Karanja said the company would also continue to strengthen its relationship with trading partners and other key stakeholders. Regional market integration will offer continued good growth opportunities for the company’s products.