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Britam registers 32pc jump in half-year profit

By James Anyanzwa | August 21st 2014

British American Investments Company (Britam) reported a 32 per cent growth in pre-tax profit for the six months ended June 30 even as regional subsidiaries, most of which are yet to break even, showed a lacklustre performance.

The diversified financial services company which deals mostly in insurance, asset management, banking and property development business lines produced a total of Sh3 billion in profit before tax compared to Sh2.28 billion in a similar period last year.

The growth in profit, according to the firm, accrued from all business lines with Kenyan operations contributing close to 90 per cent of the total revenues. "We continue to see exponential growth of all our business units. The growth has been delivered by our deliberate move to diversify our investment portfolio, while expanding regionally," Group Managing Director Benson Wairegi  told an investor briefing in Nairobi yesterday.

According to the unaudited financial statements released yesterday, the group's gross revenues grew 29 per cent to Sh6.02 billion from Sh4.66 billion while investment income surged 24 per cent to reach Sh4.64 billion from Sh3.74 billion recorded in a similar period previously.

Kenyan business lines were the biggest contributors to the revenues, delivering Sh5.35 billion, accounting for an estimated 89 per cent of the total revenues.

Operating expenses jumped 49 per cent to Sh1.83 billion from Sh1.22 billion over what the management attributed to among others heavy investment in acquisitions, integration of businesses, Information Technology infrastructure, and expansion of branch network.

Total comprehensive income grew 28 per cent to Sh10.24 billion from Sh7.98 billion in a similar period last year.

Last month, Britam raised Sh6 billion through a bond issue with proceeds reserved for the company's local and regional expansion programme, ICT development, property development and investment in private equity.

Some of the property market segments earmarked include master-planned communities, suburban outlet malls, commercial office parks, budget hotels and mixed-use properties including retail, offices and residential properties.

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