October 17, 2012 / 5:16 AM / in 5 years

Kenya's Uchumi Supermarkets' full-yr pretax profit drops 22 pct

1 Min Read

NAIROBI, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Kenya's Uchumi Supermarkets' pretax profit dropped 21.7 percent to 403 million shillings ($4.74 million) for its year ended in June as costs rose due to the opening of new stores, the company said on Wednesday.

Uchumi's shares have led gains at the Nairobi bourse this year, jumping more than 150 percent, as investors bet the retailer would benefit from Africa's growing consumers.

Although the firm's sales jumped 28 percent to almost 14 billion shillings, its operating costs to net revenue ratio went up to 19.6 percent, Uchumi said in a statement.

"This ratio is expected to reduce back to around the 16 percent level in the next financial year as the new branches mature," it said.

The company opened three new stores in Uganda, one in Tanzania and two in Kenya during the period. Earnings per share slid to 1.03 shillings from 1.47 shillings, Uchumi said. ($1 = 85.0500 Kenyan shillings) (Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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