Regional dry cell maker, Eveready East Africa, is implementing a new strategy to power its growth as competition in the energy sector grows. The five-year plan, which runs between 2013 and 2017, will see it diversify into new products and boost existing lines of businesses to increase income streams.

Managing Director Jackson Mutua said the board had approved the strategy which will, among other things, push the battery maker into beauty products. The company already deals in Schick shavers and is now set to increase its offering in this category.

Mr Mutua could not reveal the details of the new products citing regulatory constrains, but pointed to a launch of the new line next year. He said Eveready is a growing brand that is still viable in the market. He said new non-battery products such as flash lights, lanterns and beauty line now account for 50% of the business as the company moves to plug revenue reduction due to increasing alternative sources of energy.

Mr Mutua, who took over from Steve Smith in 2011, was speaking during a farewell dinner held for outgoing chairman Mood Awori, who has retired aged 85. The former vice-president had served as chairman since February 2008. The management paid glowing tribute to Awori, saying he had helped in turning around Eveready. Awori said at the current recovery rate, dividend payment would resume soon. The board suspended dividend in May 2008 due to falling revenues.

The dinner was attended by Sameer Group chairman Naushad Meralli and Kituyi Senator David Musila. The company has jumped back into profitability, and recorded Sh70 million net profit for the year ended September 30, 2012.

The battery maker overcame high costs and a tough business environment to reverse a loss of Sh124 million the previous through cost-cutting and gains on exchange rates.


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