KAMPALA Aug 18 Ugandan power distributor Umeme Ltd said on Monday its pretax profit fell 19 percent in the first six months of the year, due to a surge in repair costs and foreign exchange losses.
Pretax profit fell to 55 billion shillings ($21.2 million) from 68 billion shillings in the same period in 2013 as repair and maintenance costs almost doubled to 13.5 billion shillings.
The shilling came under pressure earlier this year after Uganda enacted harsh anti-gay legislation in February that prompted Western nations to cut or suspend aid to the east African state.
The shilling has also lost about 3 percent against the dollar this year.
Umeme also cut its dividend payout to shareholders to 15.3 billion shillings from 24 billion shillings last year.
Partly owned by UK private equity firm Actis, Uganda's state-run pension fund, National Social Security Fund (NSSF), and South Africa's Investec Asset Management, Umeme holds a 25-year power distribution concession in Uganda.
The firm is listed both on Ugandan and Kenyan bourses. (1 US dollar = 2,598.0000 Ugandan shilling) (Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by Erica Billingham)