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Vivo firms up market share as KenolKobil slips to third

Shell Petrol Station
A Shell Petrol Station in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Vivo Energy, the retailer of Shell-branded fuel products, has retained its position as the top oil marketer for the second year in a row.

Data from the Petroleum Institute of East Africa (PIEA) show that Vivo cemented the lead after its market share grew to 18.7 percent, up from 17.6 percent from the year before.

Total Kenya’s #ticker:TOTL share also grew by 0.8 percent to 16.7 percent to emerge second largest petroleum dealer, relegating KenolKobil #ticker:KENO to the third position whose share dropped by 1.8 percent to 14.7 percent.

KenolKobil has in recent years pulled out of market segments, such as Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which it described as less profitable as part of its turnaround plan, thus deliberately ceding market share to rivals.

KenolKobil is expanding in Uganda and Rwanda stake under its new owners, French downstream fuel industry group Rubis Energie, which took over its operations in March.

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The rise of Vivo is linked to aggressive opening of new service stations. The company has in the past few years opened stations across the country including major towns such as Nairobi, Meru, Kisii and Thika. Vivo’s parent company, based in Amsterdam, has in the past said it will continue with the expansion of its retail network across Africa.

Total’s growth is also attributable to a strategic growth plan that has seen it unveil 207 petrol stations countrywide to date.

A wider footprint for oil marketers is seen as critical in driving sales of products like diesel, petrol and kerosene to motorists and households.

The absence of major price wars due to government price controls, means market presence and strategic locations are key factors in winning customers.

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