Kenya’s Centum Investment says full-year pretax profit jumps 85%

Credit: REUTERS/SIEGFRIED MODOLA Adds details, background

NAIROBI, June 12 (Reuters) – Kenya’s Centum Investment Company CTUM.NR said on Friday its full-year pretax profit jumped 85% to 8.2 billion shillings ($77.10 million), boosted by rising investment income.

The company’s investment income rose to 15 billion shillings for the year-ended March, from 9.55 billion shillings the year before.

Centum is closely watched by investors on the Nairobi Security Exchange because it is the only investment company that offers exposure to opportunities like shopping mall developments and listed and unlisted companies in East Africa.

The company said it would be in a position to weather the downturn brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, helped by its holdings in cash and marketable securities, which stood at 9 billion shillings at end March, from 4.1 billion shillings in the same period in 2019.

Centum’s net asset value per share, a key measure of performance for investment firms, fell to 71.29 shillings from 79.05 shillings, while total assets rose slightly to 101.86 billion shillings from 101.76 billion shillings.

In the short term, the company said its private equity business is likely to witness a substantial fall in earnings for the full year that ends March 2021, due to the coronavirus related crisis.

"In the long term, however, the current market conditions present opportunities to make investments at reasonably priced valuations and rise the growth in earnings … as economies recover from the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic," it said.

Centum said in its real estate business, sales in new houses had dropped 40% due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but those expected to be completed by end March 2021 had sold out.

"The decrease in sales, if it persists, would likely affect the rollout of new developments since our development is sales-led," the company said.

($1=106.3500 Kenyan shillings)(Reporting by George Obulutsa; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Shailesh Kuber)(( ; Tel: +254 20 499 1234; Reuters Messaging: ))The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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