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BOC warns of dip in earnings

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 8 – Industrial gas supplier BOC Gases Kenya has warned of a dip in earnings in its results for the full year ending December 31.

This comes as the company embarked on a restructuring exercise to bring it back to profitability.

“This is in line with restructuring and other measures announced and implemented following this year’s half-year results,” the BOC Board said in a statement to the Nairobi Stock Exchange.

The company has embarked on an ambitious strategy to expand its market to the East African region as it seeks to take advantage of the EA common market protocol.

The company also plans to invest in improving its production processes as it positions itself to foray the carbon dioxide market.

However the firm has been dogged by financial woes. The company has an estimated Sh1.3 billion in cash reserves that has seen it post a drop in profits for three consecutive years.

In October 2009, BOC agreed to an out of court settlement with rival gas supplier Carbacid following a botched acquisition attempt that started in 2005. This saw the firm’s shares suspended during the duration.

The company has also undergone a change of guard with South African Maria Msiska taking over as Managing Director from John Kariuki who resigned earlier in the year.

BOC posted a 21 percent slump in its profit after tax, posting Sh231.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2009.

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