French oil firm Rubis Energy has said it had to contend with a major loss of aviation business following the near shutdown of the industry between March and August.
This followed the outbreak of Covid-19.
Rubis Energy Kenya Group Managing Director Jean-Christian Bergeron said there was a general drop in consumption of petroleum products, particularly the aviation industry where it is a major player. The firm supplies jet fuel to nearly all airlines flying into the country.
He made the remarks yesterday during the official launch of Rubis Energy. The firm has started rebranding KenolKobil and Gulf Energy petrol stations following the acquisition of the two oil marketers in separate deals that were concluded earlier this year.
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The company expects to spend over Sh2 billion ($20 million) in giving new look to its 230 petrol stations across the country. Rubis acquired KenolKobil for Sh35 billion and later Gulf Energy for an undisclosed amount, making it the largest oil marketing company in the country.
Before the acquisition, KenolKobil accounted for 15.4 per cent market share in the country, while Gulf had a 5.8 per cent share.
The company said it has so far rebranded 30 of the 230 outlets to Rubis. It expects to complete the process in 2022.
“In addition to the acquisition of KenolKobil Plc and Gulf Energy Holdings Ltd, we will continue to invest heavily in the market through modernisation of our existing retail outlets,” said Jean-Christian.
“We are significantly investing in the development and promotion of LPG, which is a clean and affordable energy source.”
After the acquisition, Rubis market share as of December last year went up to 21 per cent in comparison to the then market leader, Total, which had 16.4 per cent followed by Vivo (16.2 per cent).
KenolKobil was dominant in the jet fuel market, controlling about 68 per cent of the market then, which was pushed to about 71 per cent after merging its operations with those of Gulf Energy.
Airlines resumed domestic flights in July and international flights in August. The industry is expected to resume normal operations in 2022.
Jean-Christian noted that while the firm had been hit after airlines grounded most of their operations save for cargo, this might not affect its revenues as the supply of airlines with fuel is a low margin business.