Centum falls into Sh1.98bn half-year loss


Centum Investment CEO James Mworia. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA

Centum Investment Group #ticker:CTUM has posted Sh1.98 billion half-year net loss, hurt by a drop in both sales and investment income.

The performance was a stark contrast from Sh6.79 billion net profit in a similar period last year.

The huge decline was majorly contributed by the absence of any one-off benefits as was the case last year when it booked Sh12.4 billion net gain on disposal of three investments.

However, Centum Investment Company, which is listed on the Nairobi bourse, has reported a net profit of Sh95 million compared to a loss of Sh1.6 billion for a similar period in 2019.

The review period saw Centum Group sales drop from Sh4.77 billion to Sh294.8 million, while investment and other income also shrunk from Sh12.4 billion to Sh433.4 million.

Group CEO James Mworia said the absence of one-off gains and the Covid-19 economic disruptions had impacted the performance.

“The six-month period to 30 September 2020 was an extremely challenging one against a backdrop of Covid-19 and the economic uncertainty and disruption to business that it occasioned,” said Mr Mworia.

Centum had in the previous half-year benefited from the disposal of Almasi Beverages Limited, Nairobi Bottlers Limited and King Beverages Limited, all which helped it book Sh12.4 billion gain at the time.

The firm’s private equity business booked a net loss of Sh1.2 billion in contrast with a net profit of Sh8.4 billion that had been made in preceding similar period.

Centum said it did not receive any dividends from any of its portfolio companies such as Longhorn Publishers #ticker:LKL since those firms have elected to preserve cash.

The firm, through its real estate subsidiary is constructing 1,482 residential units across its mixed-use developments in Nairobi, Kilifi and Uganda.

Mr Mworia said that 1,086 units with revenue potential of Sh9.2 billion have been sold, translating to a pre-sell level of 73 per cent.

“Centum Real Estate will continue to pursue a sales-led development process and monetisation of land bank,” he said.

The real estate subsidiary recently opened its Sh4 billion bond to finance ongoing housing projects following the approval from the regulator.

The bond sale will run up to December 2, giving investors an opportunity to invest in the three-year bond that comes with Sh2 billion green shoe option.