Kakuzi to pay record Sh470m dividend on higher earnings


Entrance of Kakuzi PLC offices in Muranga County. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NMG

Agricultural firm Kakuzi is set to pay a record dividend of Sh24 per share or a total of Sh470.3 million for the year ended December, riding on strong sales and earnings growth.

The dividend will be paid on June 15 to shareholders on record as of May 31. The new payout marks a nine percent increase from the Sh22 per share amounting to Sh431.1 million, which was paid for the prior year.

Kakuzi joins several banks including Standard Chartered Bank Kenya and Co-op Bank in raising dividends to record levels, boosting cash returns for investors with portfolios on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.

The agricultural firm’s net income more than doubled to Sh845.8 million in the year ended December, up from Sh319.7 million a year earlier.

Sales rose 34.5 percent to Sh4.4 billion, which the company attributed to higher production and exports of its key products led by avocados.

Production of Hass and Pinkerton avocados grew and there was also a higher contribution from both macadamia and tea operations, Kakuzi said.

The company says it plans to grow avocado exports to the Chinese market which has the potential to become one of the largest destinations for the Kenyan fruit.

Kakuzi last year became the first commercial exporter of African avocados to China with a shipment of 180 tonnes of fruit loaded in nine containers.

The company says it plans to quadruple its export volumes to the Chinese market for its Hass Avocado variety fruit as part of its diversification strategy.

“Whilst the Chinese volumes are relatively small at the moment, the development of this new market is critical to Kakuzi and Kenya,” Kakuzi said in a statement on Tuesday.

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