The Star (Nairobi)

24 February 2014

Kenya: EAPCC to Expand Into Tanzania - Tande

EAST Africa Portland Cement plans to venture into Tanzania by June as the market in Kenya competitive, managing director Kephar Tande has said.

EAPCC which has been hit hard by competition and wrangles among shareholders and on its board leading to a 13 per cent decline in local market share said it has also paused its business in South Sudan as it assesses the situation there. The cement maker had recently started operations and distributorship in South Sudan but has had to stop operations there after the attempted coup in December caused chaos in that country.

"We are looking at Northern Tanzania and have already identified a partner situated in Arusha," Tande said on Friday during a media briefing with the new company chairman Bill Lay.

Tande noted that the Kenyan market had very stiff competition amid less demand and more supply.

EAPCC said it now has about 21 per cent market share from 34 per cent three years ago adding that the entrance of three new cement manufacturing over the last three years has eaten into its share.

Tande said the recent wrangling among shareholders and some of the directors over the control and operations of the company had also "distracted" the firm from its core business, thus contributing also to the drop in market share.

Apart from sourcing for new markets, Tande said the firm will also upgrade its factory equipment and open a new factory to increase capacity to boost business.

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