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Cash-strapped Portland’s board sacks CEO Nkeri

Peter ole Nkeri.
Mr Simon Peter ole Nkeri. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Loss-making East African Portland Cement Company (EAPCC) #ticker:PORT has sacked its managing director, Simon Peter ole Nkeri, in what the board termed part of efforts to turn around the Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm.

Mr Nkeri was sent packing following a board meeting held on May 17, according to a memo sent to staff on Monday.

He has been replaced by long-serving human resource officer, Stephen Kyalo Nthei, in an acting capacity.

“The board resolved to release Simon Peter Nkeri for his duty as the managing director,” said the memo.

EAPCC's net profit for the six months to December widened to Sh1.26 billion from Sh969 million in the same period last year.

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The firm's sales dropped 55 per cent to Sh1.37 billion, suggesting it was struggling to retain its market share in a sector that has seen new entrants such as Rai Cement, National Cement and Savanna.

Mr Nkeri, who had been sent on compulsory leave on February 18, succeeded Kephar Tande in August 2016, suggesting the board cut short his three-year term.

The firm's sales in the full year to June 2016 stood at Sh8.8 billion, but dropped to Sh5.1 billion in 12 months to last June.

The board said it took the decision to re-engineer the performance of the cash-strapped company.

EAPCC is currently seeking Sh17 billion to revamp its operations after years of losses almost crippled its production and ability to make new capital investments.

The board has been considering selling off non-core assets like land to inject fresh capital.

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