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Centum CEO James Mworia said the results stand to improve once the mega Two Rivers Mall project in the Runda area and their Lamu Coal Power Plant go online/FILE

Kenya

Centum profit grows as mega projects near completion

Centum CEO James Mworia said the results stand to improve once the mega Two Rivers Mall project in the Runda area and their Lamu Coal Power Plant go online/FILE

Centum CEO James Mworia said the results stand to improve once the mega Two Rivers Mall project in the Runda area and their Lamu Coal Power Plant go online/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 20 – Centum Investment Group has declared 38 percent rise in its net profit for the half year ending September 2014 to Sh1.2 billion from 892 million the same period last year.

This was attributed to a rise in investment income by 58 percent from Sh1.1 billion last year to Sh1.8 billion leading to Sh3.2 billion in total comprehensive income from Sh1.4 billion.

Centum’s Senior Finance Officer Gideon Maina also attributed growth to increased dividends, fund management income and realised gains.

“Other comprehensive income went up by 258 percent to Sh1.2 billion from Sh576 million on account of an increase in the unrealised value of Centum’s equity portfolio,” she said.

Centum CEO James Mworia said the results stand to improve once the mega Two Rivers Mall project in the Runda area and their Lamu Coal Power Plant go online.

“Two Rivers is going to be the biggest lifestyle complex in sub-Saharan Africa excluding South Africa and already we’ve leased 51 percent of the space which is 350,000 square feet and if you think of an acre being 40,000 square feet, that is about eight acres,” Mworia explained.

The complex is scheduled to open in October 2015 with multi-national retailer Carrefour officially signed on as the anchor tenant in what will be their largest station on the continent.

The financing for the Lamu Coal Power Plant on the other hand, Mworia predicted, should be squared away by July 2015.

He also assured investors that the challenge to their award of the tender had not been unforeseen.

“We were awarded this project in September. We’re the lead financial investor in this particular project. I know you heard that this matter went to the tribunal. The hearings are coming up at the end of this week but we’ve not stopped. Those are challenges we had expected,” he said.

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Both Two Rivers and the Lamu power project, Mworia said, are in line with their 2014-19 strategy to grow their investments in agricultural product value addition, energy, real estate, health and education, fast moving consumer goods, ICT and financial services.

“It is our intention to be a business that is playing a critical role in the development of our economy. We want to play a key role in the development of platform companies that are important in this economy and be major players,” he said.

The Lamu coal power plant for instance, he said, would significantly reduce the cost of power. “The power from here is going to come in at 7.5 US cents. Even cheaper than the thermal projects we have in the country which are roughly between 25 and 30 US cents.”

Centum investors, he said, are set to benefit further from the Kenya Wines Agency partnership with Distell. A partnership looking to introduce affordable spirits to the Kenyan market.

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