KenGen’s managing director Eddy Njoroge resigned today during the power generator’s annual general meeting, the Business Daily has reported, ending his executive duties that spanned nearly a decade at the state-owned firm. Mr Njoroge told shareholders he has opted out of his second five-year term, which will come to an end on March 2015 and suggested his exit was based on the government’s retirement age of 60 years.
“My last working day will be 30th June 2013. For this reason I decided to say goodbye to you all at this AGM,” said Mr Njoroge, adding that he reflected on his tenure at KenGen after turning 60 two days ago. “The search for my replacement will begin in earnest in January 2013 and hopefully by March we will have a designate CEO ready to take over from me on 1st July 2013.”
He was first appointed CEO of KenGen in March 2003 and will be best remembered for shepherding the KenGen IPO in 2006, which is credited with ushering retail investors to the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE). Mr Njoroge has seen the generation capacity of KenGen increase to 1,232 megawatts from 780 in 2003 and is targeting 1,750 MW in 2015. (Read: KenGen plans 14 temporary steam plants in two years) His exit comes in a year when the electricity producer raised its dividend payout 20 per cent after net profit grew by more than a third in the year to June on increased sales.
The company said that its net profit grew 35.6 per cent to Sh2.8 billion on increased sales, which rose to Sh15.99 billion from Sh14.3 billion boosted by new plants. This helped it raise its dividend to Sh0.60 a share from Sh0.50, a payout it has maintained since 2008, in what is set to be a boon to investors who have seen the stock trail the NSE index over the past year. The share has increased 5.95 per cent over the past year to Sh9.80, which is below its 2006 IPO price of Sh11.90. Most counters at the Nairobi bourse have risen by double-digits over the past 12 months.