Kenya’s ARM Cement reports 9-month pretax loss

28 October 2015

Kenya’s ARM Cement posted a pretax loss of £645m ($6.32 million) for the nine months to September, blaming losses related to the depreciation in regional currencies against the dollar, the company said on Monday.

The cement maker, which reported pretax profit of 1.62billion in same period of 2014, said revenue for the first nine months of 2015 rose 7% to £11.7bn, thanks to increased cement sales in Kenya and in Tanzania.

While the demand for cement grew over 10% during the period, “the sharp depreciation of both the Kenyan and Tanzanian currencies in the nine months has resulted in an unrealised exchange loss,” the company said in a statement.

“The fundamentals for continued economic and construction sector growth remain strong despite the recent currency depreciation and increase in interest rates,” the company said.

Kenya’s shilling has lost about 12% against the dollar so far this year. Tanzania’s shilling has lost nearly 20% of its value. Booming construction in East Africa has sustained demand for cement but local firms are facing increased competition from new entrants like Nigeria’s Dangote Cement.

The company said its board did not recommend paying an interim dividend. The company paid a first and final dividend of £0.60 per share for 2014.

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