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East Africa Portland Drops to 9-Year Low on Loss: Nairobi Mover

East African Portland Cement Ltd., the smallest of Kenya’s three publicly traded makers of the building material, plunged to its lowest level in more than nine years after reporting a full-year loss.

The stock plummeted 41 percent to close at 32 shillings, the lowest level since March 2003 and the biggest fall since September 2008. About 41 percent of the daily average volume of shares was traded.

The loss was 821.5 million shillings ($10 million) for the year through June, compared with a profit of 1.72 million shillings a year earlier, the company said today in a statement. Sales dropped 16 percent to 8.61 billion shillings, hurt by “extraordinary turbulence” in the period, the company said. “Industrial unrest” led to a shutdown of operations in January, according to the statement, leading to production losses in the second half of the fiscal year.

“From our estimate, we expected sales to decline by about 7.2 percent,” Francis Mwangi, head of research at Nairobi-based Standard Investment Bank Ltd., said by phone.

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