Kenya's Centum profit rises, flagship mall progresses

by Reuters 0

The company said it would handover space in a flagship shopping mall in Nairobi to anchor tenant, the Carrefour franchise, in March.

The company, which invests in private equity, listed firms and real estate, said pretax profit for the 12 months rose to 4.01 billion shillings ($46 million), with dividend income climbing 53 percent in the period.

Unrealised gains climbed 77 percent, accounting for 2.932 billion shillings of total income of 4.883 billion shillings. Unrealised gains comprise valuations of investments listed on the firm’s books as income although they have not been sold.

The company said the Two Rivers Mall, its flagship property project being built in a suburb of the Kenyan capital, would be completed early in 2015.

“We are on track to hand over the mall to Carrefour in March of next year,” Chief Executive James Mworia told an investor briefing where executives announced the firm’s results.

Carrefour, Europe’s largest retailer, will be the main tenant at the Two Rivers Mall when completed.

The arrival of a big European retail brand name will offer a boost to Kenya almost nine months after confidence was shaken by the attack on Westgate mall, which had been one of the city’s smartest shopping centres.

The mall is still closed since the assault by gunmen that left 67 people dead. A fresh spate of bombings in Nairobi and the port city of Mombasa in recent weeks has added to nervousness.