Sameer Africa appoints new managing director

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Sameer Africa has appointed John Mugo as the new managing director effective January 1.

Mr Mugo will take over from Peter Gitonga who has been holding the position in an acting capacity since August 2019.

Mr Gitonga will be retiring from the company on December 31, 2022.

He took up the position after former managing director Simon Ngigi quit in 2019, one year after his appointment.

“The board takes this opportunity to congratulate him on his appointment,” said the company secretary Mercy Mbijiwe in a statement yesterday.

Mr Mugo holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Nairobi.

He is also a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya and the Institute of Directors of Kenya.

He has served as the Chief Operations Officer at the Kenyan-based Real Estate Invest Holding Company, Group Chief Operating Officer at a listed infrastructure investment group with operations in six African countries.

Mr Mugo’s immediate assignment will be to steer the firm back to profitability and grow value for shareholders.

The firm's net profit jumped five times to Sh217.3 million in the year to December helped by cost controls.

The company posted a net profit of Sh43.3 million in 2020.

Sameer said lower costs boosted margins significantly even as sales fell 13.98 per cent or by Sh105.8 million to Sh651.6 million in the period.

“This was largely due to disruption of the global supply chain and rent rebates extended to tenants as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Sameer in a statement in April.

The firm earlier announced the closure of its troubled tyre distribution business to focus exclusively on real estate development.

But the Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm later made an about-turn in February last year to re-enter the tyre distribution market on renewed demand for its Yana brands.

The company closed its Nairobi tyre factory in 2016, citing its inability to compete with importers.

It turned to manufacturers in India and China to produce tyres for distribution in the local and regional markets.

The company fully owns Sameer Industrial Park and Sameer Export Processing Zone.

It also has a stake in Sameer Business Park — a complex of commercial offices along Mombasa Road, Nairobi.

Sameer also owns an estimated 85 acres of freehold land in Nairobi’s Embakasi that it bought decades ago.

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