Slow economy, financing costs hit Kenya Power’s first-half profit

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Kenya Power posted a 19 per cent drop in first-half pretax profit, mainly due to sluggish economic growth and higher financing costs.h

The firm, which is the main electricity distributor in the East African nation, suffered from lower demand due to a protracted presidential election, which hurt economic activity.

Electricity sales increased 2.3 per cent in the six months to end-December and revenue rose by a modest 2.5 per cent, the company said on Friday. Pretax profit was 4.6 billion shillings (45.21 million dollars ).

Financing costs jumped 11 per cent to 3.2 billion shillings as the company raised its use of short-term debt during the period.

Kenya Power said it would take advantage of the government’s plan to boost the manufacturing sector, to increase electricity demand in the second half.

Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta has set out manufacturing as one of his priority areas and he has directed officials to implement a new night-time electricity tariff for firms who wish to increase production. ($1 = 101.7500 Kenyan shillings)

Suzan O.