Car & General adds 711 more jobs to its workforce after expansion


Equipment on sale at a Car & General shop. FILE PHOTO | POOL

Diversified trading firm Car & General added 711 jobs across its operations in the year ended September 2022 on the back of expansion including the opening of a helmet manufacturing plant.

The firm’s workforce, including employees working at joint ventures and associate companies, increased to 3,743 in the review period from 3,032 a year earlier, according to disclosures in its latest annual report.

Car & General is among the few companies to significantly scale up their hiring in an economy where most firms have been cutting jobs in response to sluggish sales growth and compressed profit margins.

“In order to support the government’s localisation initiatives and create industrial employment, we opened BodaPlus, our helmet manufacturing business. Production commenced in September 2021,” the Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm says in the report.

“We now employ over 3,000 people as a group (including associates). We employed over 500 additional people in 2022.”

Car & General added that it is sourcing more local parts for its motorcycles which it assembles locally.

The company has a diversified operation, dealing in motorcycles, tuk-tuks, diesel generators, consumer credit, poultry and forklifts and real estate among others.

The company said it expects to expand its manufacturing and assembly operation in the near future, a move that could see it further ramp up hiring.

It noted that more than 120 new jobs were created in the helmet manufacturing operation alone in the review period.

“We are confident BodaPlus will do well over time. We are gaining good traction and expect to be profitable this year. The market for helmets is growing throughout the region and our value proposition is solid,” said Car & General.

“We are exploring other opportunities related to the localisation of manufacturing of two-wheelers and three-wheelers in Kenya.”

The company’s net profit for the financial year ended September 2022 dropped 23 percent to Sh679.46 million on the back of higher debt service costs.

The earnings declined from the record of Sh887.2 million recorded a year earlier when the firm quadrupled dividends and gave shareholders bonus shares of one for each share held.

Finance costs increased to Sh930.9 million from Sh503.5 million, causing a profit drop.

The firm, which deals in a range of power generation, engineering and automotive products, including motorcycles and tuk-tuks (three-wheelers), says it also suffered from Sh301 million foreign exchange losses and Sh139 million demurrage costs linked to logistical issues.

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