Kenyan oil firm KenolKobil swings into H1 profit
NAIROBI Aug 22 (Reuters) - Kenyan oil marketer KenolKobil swung into a first-half profit from a big loss in the same period last year after it slashed costs while foreign exchange losses narrowed.
The firm, which was the subject of a failed takeover bid from Switzerland's Puma Energy earlier in the year, said it was bullish about its performance in the second half of the year.
KenolKobil on Thursday posted a pretax profit of 199 million shillings ($2.27 million) against a loss of 5.68 billion shillings.
Operating expenses fell by 37 percent through various cost-cutting measures, the company that has operations across the region said in a statement.
"The group is optimistic that the outlook is good for achieving improved profitability during the second half," the firm said, adding that the challenges it faced last year and early this year would be resolved.
KenolKobil had blamed volatile international oil prices and foreign exchange rates, high inflation and high lending rates for a loss of 9 billion shillings in 2012. This included a 4.2 billion shilling foreign exchange loss.
The exchange loss dwindled to 158 million shillings in the first half but the company said this was still a risk.
($1 = 87.5500 Kenyan shillings) (Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by James Macharia and David Evans)
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