Rubis gains market share as major competitors lose


An attendant fuels a car at a Rubis station on Koinange Street, Nairobi on January 15, 2023. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

French-owned Rubis was the only multinational that grew its market share between July and December last year, narrowing the gap between it and rivals TotalEnergies Marketing Kenya and Vivo Energy in the battle for customers.

An analysis of official data shows that Rubis increased its market share to 14.05 percent in December from 12.43 percent in June last year.

TotalEnergies' market share dropped to 14.88 percent from 15.54 percent while that of Vivo marginally fell to 22.07 percent from 22.1 percent over the same period.

The three multinationals are caught in a vicious battle for the local petroleum market but they all took a hit last year after consumption dropped amid record-high prices of Super petrol, diesel and kerosene.

The industry lobby, Petroleum Institute of East Africa (PIEA), says in a separate report released on Monday that the major gainers in the overall market share in 2023 compared to 2022 were Rubis, Stabex, BE Energy and Hass Petroleum.

Consumption of Super petrol dropped to 1.01 billion litres in the first half of last year from 1.074 billion in similar period in 2022 while that of diesel fell four percent to 1.31 billion litres from 1.36 billion.

The Rubis growth pushed the combined market share of the three multinationals to 51 percent as at December, up from 50.07 percent six months earlier.

Rubis says its revenues slumped to €886 million (Sh133.86 billion) in the year to December 2023, a drop of 11 percent from €996 million (Sh132 billion at the exchange rates at the time) a year earlier largely due to a hit brought by the weaker shilling.

Vivo Energy and TotalEnergies are yet to disclose their revenues for last year but their performance, just like that of Rubis, are likely to be impacted by the shilling when reported in their parent firms' currencies.

230 stations

The three oil firms have in the past few years been aggressively expanding by opening new fuel stations in Nairobi, major towns and highways in the battle for the market.

Rubis has an estimated 230 stations countrywide.

The firm bought Gulf Energy, Kenol Kobil between 2019 and 2020, a move that boosted efforts to grow its market share.

TotalEnergies had 237 stations as at June last year behind market leader Vivo Energy that has ore than 300 stations across the country.

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Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.