Kenyan agricultural firm Kakuzi 2012 profit falls 26 pct

NAIROBI, April 2 Tue Apr 2, 2013 8:10am EDT

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NAIROBI, April 2 (Reuters) - Kenyan agricultural firm Kakuzi posted a 26 percent drop in pretax profit last year to 479 million shillings ($5.62 million), hit by lower prices of avocados and the sale of one of its tea subsidiaries.

The firm issued a profit warning last year, citing lower prices of its export crops due to the economic problems in the euro zone, the strengthening of the shilling against the euro and the sale of a subsidiary tea firm, Siret.

"The profits ... are down on last year having been affected by only eight months trading of Siret tea operations, the prevailing strength of the exchange rate together with relatively poor prices attained on avocados," Kakuzi said.

The sale of Siret was concluded last August.

Earnings per share fell 19.35 shillings from 28.06 shillings, Kakuzi said. It proposed a dividend of 3.75 shillings per share, unchanged from the previous year.

Kakuzi said it had appointed Christopher Flowers as managing director to replace Graham Mclean.

($1 = 85.3000 Kenyan shillings) (Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)

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