NAIROBI Oct 17 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
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