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Scangroup of Kenya Advances to Two-Week High: Nairobi Mover

Scangroup Ltd., East Africa’s biggest marketing company by sales, climbed to its highest level in two weeks on bets full-year earnings will be boosted by a jump in advertising for election campaigns.

Shares in the company advanced 1.8 percent to 57.50 shillings by the close in Nairobi, the highest since Aug. 15.

“This is a strong year for advertising companies because there will be a lot of activity toward the end of the year as campaigns begin,” John Kamunya, a research analyst at Nairobi-based Sterling Capital Ltd., said in a phone interview today.

Elections for the presidency and other levels of government are scheduled for March 2013. Advertising spending in Kenya surged 43 percent in the first half of 2012 to 40.1 billion shillings ($476 million) from a year earlier, according to Nairobi-based market researcher Ipsos-Synovate.

Scangroup’s clients include Safaricom Ltd., Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc and Coca-Cola Co., who are among Kenya’s top five advertisers, Ipsos-Synovate figures show. Kenya accounts for 60 percent of Scangroup’s total billings, according to Kestrel Capital (East Africa) Ltd., a Nairobi-based brokerage.

Scangroup profit climbed to 406.6 million shillings in the six months through June, from 374.5 million shillings a year earlier, it said Aug. 8. Billings grew 5.9 percent to 5.94 billion shillings, while total sales surged 32 percent to 2 billion shillings.

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