Eveready East Africa Posts First-Half Loss on Competition

May 30 (Bloomberg) -- Eveready East Africa Ltd., a Kenyan battery manufacturer, said it posted a first-half loss because of competition from trade in “illicit” dry-cell batteries and high raw-material costs as the shilling depreciated.

The loss totaled 54 million shillings ($634,000) in the six months through March, compared with a profit of 12.8 million shillings a year earlier, the Nairobi-based company said in a statement e-mailed by the city’s stock exchange today. Revenue fell 19 percent to 659.7 million shillings.

The shilling has depreciated 6.1 percent against the dollar this year, making it the fourth-worst performer worldwide, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The shares declined the most since May 24, losing 2.3 percent to 2.15 shillings by the 3 p.m. close in Nairobi, extending their retreat this year to 28 percent, the fourth-worst performing stock on the Nairobi Stock Exchange after Express Kenya Ltd., AccessKenya Ltd. and Pan Africa Insurance Holdings Ltd.

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