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July 28 (Bloomberg) -- KenolKobil Ltd., a Kenyan fuel retailer with operations in seven African countries, returned to profit in the first half as sales surged amid more stable global oil prices.

Net income was 1.18 billion shillings ($14.6 million) in the six months through June, compared with a loss of 431.2 million shillings a year earlier, the company said in an e-mailed statement from the capital, Nairobi, today. Revenue jumped 40 percent to 60.4 billion shillings, it said.

The increase in sales was “a reflection of a more stable pricing environment internationally and in the local markets, especially in subsidiaries outside Kenya,” Managing Director Jacob Segman said in the statement.

Outside of Kenya, KenolKobil’s Zambian and Rwandan units registered the most growth, he said.

Exports and aviation fuel sales, which declined in the first half of 2009, registered “good profits” in 2010 as the company focused on its high-margin business segments and reduced costs, he said.

Results in the second half are expected to improve further, Segman said.

“Management is firmly bullish and projects strong end-year results, expected to come mainly from operations outside Kenya,” he said.

KenolKobil also has operations in Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya. In addition, the company plans to begin operations in Mozambique and Zimbabwe, it said on June 26.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Ombok in Nairobi at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at

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