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Kenya's BOC 2011 pretax profit up on plant upgrade

Fri, 02 Mar 2012 14:06

Kenyan industrial gas supplier BOC Gases' 2011 pretax profit jumped 87.4 percent after a plant upgrade and improved product availability, in spite of congestion at the country's port, the company said on Friday.

BOC, a subsidiary of Germany's Linde, said in a statement that pretax profit rose to 214.9 million shillings ($2.58 million), while turnover was up 4 percent to 1.21 billion shillings.

Earnings per share rose to 7.71 shillings from 4.06 shillings in 2010. The firm will pay a final dividend of 4.80 shillings from 1.40 shillings, it said.

"The increase in turnover was achieved in the face of logistical challenges, including congestion at Mombasa's port facilities, and persistent shortages of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in the domestic market," the statement said.

Traffic through Mombasa port is watched as an indicator of activity in the region's economies. Apart from Kenya, it handles cargo to and from Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia.

Congestion at Kenya's main jetty at the port of Mombasa slows down ships docking there, and the government plans to build a new one to ease the backlog.

BOC's stock was down 3.4 percent on Friday to 115 shillings.