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Kenya’s East Africa Portland Cement Company sees increased annual losses

World Cement,

Kenya's East African Portland Cement has posted an increase in its annual losses. The company reported a loss of KSh849.7 million shillings, compared with a KSh119.06 million loss in the same period last year, after a 15% drop in revenues to KSh8.61 billion.

It has not been a good year for the company’s output. Production was suspended completely in January following labour unrest, and the company suffered a second blow as one of its kilns broke down not long after operations resumed. As well these two events, the combined effects of the weakening Kenyan Shilling and rising power and raw material costs have contributed to the company’s losses, which equate to KSh9.09 per share for the year.

A spokesman for the company said, “We expect performance to improve, helped by falling interest rates, which is expected to lead to increased activity in the construction sector.” He added, though, “This could be tempered by investors exercising caution in the lead-up to the [Presidential and Parliamentary] elections in March.”

Though the construction sector has been one of Kenya's fastest growing sectors over the last decade, the higher disposable incomes across the country’s middle classes that can be thanked for this have diminished somewhat recently in light of massive increases in the rate of inflation. The sting of this has been felt throughout the economy, and the cement industry hasn’t been the only sector to see unrest in its workforce.

Edited from various sources by Jack Davidson.

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