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KenGen says H1 profit down 25 pct

27 February 2014, 10:16

Nairobi - Kenya's main electricity producer, KenGen reported on Wednesday a 25 percent fall in pretax profit in the six months to December, but forecast a stronger second half as new power plants come online.

The firm said profit before tax dropped to 1.84 billion shillings, mainly due to a fall in interest income and an 11 percent rise in operating costs on the back of newly commissioned plants and depreciation expenses.

An extra 160 megawatts would come online by the end of the financial year, KenGen said in a statement, including 140MW at a new geothermal energy plant in the country's Rift Valley.

KenGen plans to spend $1 billion over three years to upgrade its distribution network in order to keep up with growing demand in east Africa's biggest economy, which suffers frequent power cuts due to a power deficit and an aging grid.

The country is racing to wean itself off unreliable rain-fed hydroelectric dams, and is the first African country to tap the vast reserves of hot steam in the Earth's crust.

Kenya wants to add 5,000 megawatts of power generation capacity by 2017 to the existing 1,664 MW.

Earnings per share in the first half fell to 0.46 shillings from 0.75 shillings, KenGen said.

- Reuters


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