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KenolKobil of Kenya First-Half Profit Surges as Sales Climb

July 26 (Bloomberg) -- KenolKobil Ltd., the Kenyan fuel retailer with operations in nine African countries, said first-half profit surged 83 percent as sales climbed and distribution costs dropped.

Net income grew to 2.16 billion shillings ($23.9 million) in the six months through June, from 1.18 billion shillings a year earlier, the Nairobi-based company said in an e-mailed statement today. Sales climbed 38 percent to 83.3 billion shillings, the company said.

“Going forward, management forecast that the second half of 2011 will be stronger than the same period” a year earlier, it said.

Distribution costs dropped 4 percent, Chairman Jacob Segman said in the statement. Kenol relied less on the Kenyan distribution system “which is still unreliable and whose inefficiencies continue to challenge the business,” he said.

“There is growth in margins and significant volume upside,” Gregory Waweru, an analyst at Nairobi-based Kestrel Capital East Africa Ltd., said in a phone interview today.

The company’s directors recommended a dividend of 0.57 shillings.

Kenol’s shares retreated for the first time in four days, losing 0.5 percent to 10.95 shillings by the 3 p.m. close in Nairobi.

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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