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Standard Group Declines Most in 6 Days on Costs Speculation

March 17 (Bloomberg) -- Standard Group Ltd., a Kenyan media company, declined the most since March 11 on concerns its operating expenses will rise this year.

The stock retreated 0.75 shillings, or 1.9 percent, to 38.75 shillings as of the 3 p.m. in close in Nairobi.

“Higher newsprint and operating costs led to a weaker second half compared to the first half,” African Alliance Securities Kenya Ltd. wrote in an e-mailed note to clients today. “We expect a challenging environment on the back of a weaker currency, which would put pressure on newsprint costs and most likely lead to a higher cover price if unchanged over a number of months.”

The company’s income before tax grew to 453.7 million shillings ($5.28 million) in the 12 months through December, from 376.5 million shillings a year earlier, the Nairobi-based company said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. It didn’t provide a net income figure. Sales advanced 12 percent to 3.11 billion shillings, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Ombok in Nairobi at eombok@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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