Kenya: Strong sales of cement and fertiliser have boosted Kenya's ARM Cement's pre-tax profit by 20% to US$13.68m in the first half of 2014. Total revenue jumped by 16% to US$86.6m, after cement sales rose by 10% in Kenya and by more than 33% in Tanzania. The improved sales were attributed to an improved distribution network.
"The east African regional economies are growing briskly and demand for cement, as well as the other products, are expected to grow further," said ARM. The company expects earnings to grow further in the second half of 2014, mainly due to improving margins driven by investments in its plants in Tanzania and Kenya.
ARM has invested a total of US$171m in a clinker plant in Tanga, Tanzania and a cement plant in Dar es Salaam, also in Tanzania. The plants have a combined capacity of 1.8Mt/yr. The investments have helped the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to hold steady at 24% in the first half of 2014, defying pressure from higher input costs, such as energy.