Kenya's Centum Investment profit drops to Sh2.7 billion

Centum Investment CEO James Mworia

NAIROBI, KENYA: Centum investment has recorded a drop in its full-year net profits to Sh2.7 billion from Sh8.2 billion in 2017 mainly due to lower property valuation gains and tough business environment in 2017.

The Company’s full-year pre-tax profit dropped 64 per cent to Sh3.15 billion hurt further by a delay in recognising gains from the sale of one of its businesses.

In May, Centum had said its earnings would also be affected by the fact that it had not realised gains on the disposal of one of its businesses, GenAfrica Asset Managers, whose transactions were signed in the year to end-March but which had not been finalised by March 31. Those gains will reflect in the financial year to end-March 2019.

The company said on Wednesday a Sh200 billion, 1,000 MW coal-fired power plant it has a stake in is expected to reach financial close this year.

The Amu Power consortium that includes Centum, won a contract to build the plant in Lamu. The project has attracted criticism from conservationists who say it will pollute the island, an ancient Swahili settlement on the coast that is a tourist destination and a U.N. World Heritage site.

“We have secured the debt. It is about $1.5 billion. The equity tranche is about $500 million, which is now fully funded,” Centum Chief Executive James Mworia told an investor briefing, adding that two additional steps were needed to get to financial close but did not specify what they were.

Amu Power signed an agreement last month with General Electric to design and build the plant, and the deal will also see GE, through its affiliates, acquire a stake in Amu.

Amu Power and Ministry of Energy officials say the technology General Electric will use is the most modern and will reduce the emissions from burning coal.

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