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Centum: Kirubis Brace for Big Loss

Centum owns a 58 percent stake in Two Rivers Development Limited

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Centum Investment Company Plc has issued  a profit warning, with the firm expecting its net earnings for the full year ended 31st March 2023 to be at least 25% lower than the previous comparable period, the full year ended 31st March 2022.

The company’s loss after tax for the year ended 31 March 2022 fell by 97% to Ksh21 million, down from a loss after tax of Ksh 607 million in FY 2021.

In a public notice, the company attributed the decline primarily to impairment provisions in its Two Rivers Development Limited (TRDL) subsidiary. Centum owns a 58 percent stake in the development which includes Two Rivers Mall as well as commercial and residential spaces.

Chris Kirubi, who passed away in 2021 aged 80, owned a 31-percent stake in the NSE-listed Centum, making him it’s single largest individual shareholder. The stake is today held by his son, Robert Kirubi, and daughter, Mary-Ann who inherited 80 percent of his fortune – including stakes in KCB Group, Haco Industries and Bendor Estate Limited among several other businesses.

Two Rivers’ prospects received a big boost in July following the gazettement of the Two Rivers International Financial Centre as a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) by the Ministry of Trade and Investments. The move is expected to help attract major international and local companies to Two Rivers with the guarantee of tax breaks among other benefits.

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“The strategic focus of TRDL over the last year was to reorganize its capital structure through an accelerated asset sale program. In line with this focus, the TRDL board of directors resolved to offer its assets for sale to shareholders, including all the development rights available across the mixed use-development, as well as interests in its subsidiary utility companies,” Centum noted.

Centum Investment Company disclosed that it took up the TRDL offer and acquired the undeveloped balance of land and secured gazettement of the SEZ, a move it believes will enhance shareholder returns as more companies flock to Two Rivers. The TRDL board then took the decision to impair the balance on the value of unsold assets.

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