The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Uchumi Investors Meet to Endorse Dividend Payout

UCHUMI shareholders are tomorrow expected to endorse their first dividend in ten years and also give approval for raising the share capital from from Sh2 billion to Sh3 billion.

The shareholders who are set to meet for the retailer's 32nd annual general meeting at Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi will also be asked by the board to give the go-ahead for the firm's shares to cross list at the Uganda Securities Exchange, Dar-es Salaam Stock Exchange and the Rwanda over the counter market.

In its financial statement released in October, Uchumi had declared a dividend of Sh0.30 per share to be paid on or about February 28, 2013 to the shareholders whose names appear in the register of members by close of business as at the seventh day of next month.

"Key issues on agenda for discussion, consideration and endorsement will include the consideration for increase of the nominal share capital of the company from Sh2b to Sh3b through creation of two hundred million new ordinary shares of Sh5," said the firm in a statement.

Uchumi's net earnings grew 28.3 per cent to Sh13.9 billion during the financial year ended June 30, up from Sh10.8 billion last year. Uchumi which is one of the success stories on company turnarounds is poised for growth in the competitive retail industry according to various analysts.

After the release of its financial statements, market analyst Aly Khan Saatchu said: "the expansion has crimped profits a little but looking through the headline numbers this is a company that has been tidied up, rehabilitated, resurrected and repositioned for growth."

In the last financial year, the retail chain opened new five new branches in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda to increase customer traffic and grow its sales revenue to cushion itself from decreased per capita consumption. Earnings per share stood at Sh.03 per share, down from Sh1.47 in the previous year.

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