Asset sales, cost cutting boost Centum profit

Centum Investment CEO James Mworia.
Centum Investment has made a 200 per cent profit jump from the sale of assets and a reduction in costs.  

The company made a Sh6.8 billion net profit in the six months ended September 30 from Sh2.08 billion in a similar period last year.

“Profitability was driven by Sh2.6 billion gains from the disposal of Almasi and Nairobi Bottlers,” said Group Chief Executive James Mworia in a statement accompanying the results.

He said the firm made gains from saving up to Sh990 million after repaying a Sh11.3 billion loan and from cutting operating costs.

The creditors included Rand Merchant Bank which was owed Sh7.6 billion. Centum said it was working to retire all debt by June 2020.

The debt accruing from both its corporate bond and term loan stands at slightly over Sh14 billion.

“We are on track having delivered significant returns through exits and investment activity. We are also on track to bring operation costs to within 30 per cent of cash annuity income,” Mr Mworia said.

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Boasting assets worth Sh103.7 billion, the firm also realised in excess of Sh8.4 billion from its private equity business. 

“We are well-positioned with sufficient liquidity to take advantage of market opportunities,” said Mworia.

Data shows the firm’s real estate portfolio, which comprises more than 50 per cent of total assets, brought in Sh6.05 billion from the sale of more than 800 units.

“The cash returns from sold residential units projected to be completed within the next three months and from the sale of land will be partially applied towards redemption of the corporate bond,” the CEO said.

Private equity, on the other hand, raked in up to Sh18.6 billion as proceeds from the sale of a stake in two bottling firms.

However, while its net asset value appreciated, the net asset value per share dropped by four per cent on account of impaired assets and dividend payouts.

The group held Sh2.8 billion in marketable securities.

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Centum investmentProfitSale of assets