Kenyan tyre maker Sameer profit more than doubles

Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:00am EDT

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* FY pretax up 103 percent to 301 million shillings

* Turnover up 8 percent to 4 billion shillings

* Earnings per share 0.68 shillings vs 0.35

NAIROBI, March 22 (Reuters) - Kenyan tyre maker Sameer forecast strong profits this year after full-year profit more than doubled in 2012 on a combination of higher sales, lower financing and raw material costs.

Pretax profit jumped 103 percent to 301 million shillings ($3.5 million) and the company on Friday predicted even better results this year after a broadly peaceful election earlier this month.

The company also said it expected increased sales within the five-member East African Community trade bloc.

But Sameer cautioned it faced significant pressure from cheap imported tyres.

"In 2012 we continued to experience significant upward pressure on our energy costs, but this was largely offset by a 10 percent reduction in the cost of imported raw material inputs ... and a largely stable U.S. dollar/Kenya shilling exchange rate," Sameer said in a statement.

The company's shares rose as much as 3 percent before paring gains to trade 0.9 percent lower at 5.40 shillings by 0950 GMT, driven lower by profit taking, said Brenda Kithinji, an analyst at Standard Investment Bank.

"Its probably someone who was trying to get out at a favourable price," said Kithinji.

Sameer said its net finance costs fell to 34 million shillings from 112 million in 2011.

Turnover rose 8 percent to 4 billion shillings, while earnings per share rose to 0.68 shillings from 0.35.

Sameer said it would pay a final dividend of 0.25 shillings a share.

($1 = 85.8000 Kenyan shillings) (Reporting by George Obulutsa and Beatrice Gachenge; Editing by James Macharia)

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