Vivo Energy, Total eat into KenolKobil's market share

A Shell petrol station
A Shell petrol station in Pangani, Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Vivo Energy, the retailer of Shell-branded petroleum products, grew its market share in local fuel sales volume to 19.5 per cent in the second quarter ended June, according to statistics from the Petroleum Institute of East Africa (PIEA).

This saw the company make gains — compared to the full year ended December 2017 — alongside Total Kenya #ticker:TOTL, while KenolKobil #ticker:KENO lost by the biggest margin. PIEA has not published comparable market share data for the three months ended June 2017.

Vivo’s market share rose from 17.6 per cent last year to 19.5 per cent in the review period, marking a 1.9 percentage point gain while that of Total rose marginally to 16.2 per cent from 15.9 per cent over the same period.

KenolKobil’s declined to 13.8 per cent from 16.5 per cent.

The oil marketer has in recent years pulled out of market segments it described as less profitable as part of its turnaround plan, deliberately ceding market share to its top rivals.

The company has received a buyout offer, its second, from French firm Rubis Energie that will see it de-listed from the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) if the transaction is concluded.

Ahead of the takeover bid, expected to be finalised next year, KenolKobil has revived its regional expansion plan with a deal to acquire 33 petrol stations in Uganda and Rwanda from Delta Petroleum.

The move comes after the oil marketer scaled down its regional footprint in 2016 by exiting Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo markets.

“We are back to regional expansion… Uganda and Rwanda are very promising for us.

“I cannot disclose the transaction value but we are paying in cash generated from our operations,” KenolKobil chief executive officer David Ohana said in a recent interview.

The deal will see the company’s footprint in Uganda rise to 56 petrol stations, and in Rwanda to 61, bringing the total of retail outlets to 433.

Two hundred of the stations are in Kenya, with the remainder in Zambia, Ethiopia and Burundi.

In overall market share, including exports to the regional markets, KenolKobil is ranked second at 13.2 per cent, tying with Total and behind Vivo with 14.6 per cent.