BOC Kenya Ltd, which manufactures industrial and medical gases, has slashed its interim dividend for the first half of the year following decline in after-tax profit.
The NSE-listed company's board has declared an interim dividend of Sh2.20 per share, 18.2 per cent lower than the Sh2.60 a share paid in a similar period last year.
Its net profit slowed down to Sh85.62 million in the six months compared to Sh101.26 million a year ago, a 15.4 per cent decline. Profitability was down despite its revenue growing by 7.3 per cent to Sh674.98 million from Sh629.18 million.
The firm attributed the decline in profits "to increased electricity costs and a revision in the calculation methodology for stock obsolescence allowances."
BOC Gases paid a total dividend of Sh5.20 per share in 2013 - in two tranches of Sh2.60 a share - higher than the Sh5.05 per share in 2012.
Besides industrial and medical gases, BOC supplies welding products and medical equipment. It has subsidiaries in Uganda and Tanzania.
The firm's stock was unmoved on Friday at Sh146 a piece.