Tyre maker Sameer Africa is seeking distributors in Nigeria and Angola to help boost its exports.
The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed company currently sells its tyres in the local market and exports to neighbouring Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi.
Sameer is, however, keen on entering more markets to boost sales as it faces increasing competition in the Kenyan market.
“We will enter Angola and Nigeria by appointing dealers,” said Allan Walmsley, Sameer’s chief executive.
The manufacturer’s revenues declined 1.3 per cent to Sh4 billion in the year ended December, a performance that could have been worse had export sales not grown.
“The decline in total revenue… would have been greater were it not for the fact that we moved quickly and aggressively into the export market to offset the decline in sales to the Kenya government bodies,” Sameer said in a statement.
Export revenues increased 18 per cent to Sh479 million in the year compared to Sh410 million in 2012. This saw the share of export sales rise to 11.8 per cent from 10 per cent of the top line.
Sameer said it will also make forays into the Democratic Republic of Congo through its Burundian base. The firm is setting up a depot in Rwanda, signalling increased sales in that market.
The firm also plans to eventually tap South Africa’s competitive tyre market led by brands such as Continental and Pirelli.
Sameer said export sales had become critical to its growth, noting that they are helping to reduce the impact of its decreased market share in Kenya.
The quest for new export markets saw Sameer make its first tyre sales in Djibouti last year.
The decline in local sales has been linked to the government’s austerity measures and increased competition from cheaper tyres sourced largely from Asia.