Kenyan Bamburi Cement's H1 profit hit by financing costs

NAIROBI Fri Aug 3, 2012 1:24am EDT

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NAIROBI Aug 3 (Reuters) - Kenya's Bamburi Cement posted a 12.86 percent fall in pretax profit for the first half of this year to 3.7 billion shillings ($43.89 million), hurt by financing costs that exceeded revenue growth, the company said on Friday.

Controlled by France's LaFarge, the company, which is the largest cement maker in the east African nation, said turnover had increased by 17 percent to 19.2 billion shillings.

"The regional cement market will continue to be vibrant. Focus will be on retaining the upward trend of revenue growth," Bamburi said in a statement, adding that recent capacity enhancement would also help.

"The group will continue to capitalise on progress made in its cost control measures to cushion the top line."

Bamburi said its performance during the period had also suffered from higher costs of raw materials, transport and energy, on the back of higher costs of fuel.

It recommended an interim dividend of 2 shillings per share, unchanged from the year-ago period. ($1 = 84.3000 Kenyan shillings) (Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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