Britam of Kenya Posts Profit on Asset-Management Income Jump

British-American Investments Co., a Kenyan financial-services group, said it returned to profit last year as earnings at its asset-management division almost tripled and that it plans to expand in the region.

Net income was 2.52 billion shillings ($30 million) in the 12 months through December, compared with a loss of 1.96 billion shillings a year earlier, Managing Director Benson Wairegi told reporters today in the capital, Nairobi. Profit at the company’s asset management division surged to 115.9 billion shillings from 43.9 billion shillings, the company said in a statement.

“Our long-term growth and business generation strategies have ensured excellent performance of our core insurance, asset-management, private equity, real estate and banking businesses,” Wairegi said.

Kenyan stocks were the best performers in sub-Saharan Africa last year as the central bank reined in inflation and spurred a rally in the shilling. The Nairobi Securities Exchange All-Share Index surged 39 percent in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The median estimate of two analysts surveyed by Bloomberg projected the company would report net income of 2.47 billion shillings.

Regional Expansion

Britam, as the company is known, plans to expand into Rwanda and Tanzania by the end of this year, Wairegi said. The company already has operations in Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan.

Shares in Britam, fell as much as 10.6 percent and were trading 2.8 percent lower at 8.7 shillings by 11 a.m. in Nairobi. The decline cut the stock’s year-to-date rally to 45 percent, compared with a 24 percent gain for the All-Share index.

“After the recent rally guys are still taking profit at the moment,” Augustine Misoka, a research analyst at Nairobi-based Sterling Capital Ltd., said in a phone interview. “We can expect that the share price will stabilize because of the 67 percent increase in dividend.”

Britam declared a dividend of 1.40 shillings a share.

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