Kenya tea firms post mixed full year earnings

May 31, 2013
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NAIROBI (Reuters) – Williamson Tea Kenya said full year pretax profit edged down in its financial year ended March while its sister firm Kapchorua Tea said it more than doubled its profit.

Williamson, which shares directors with Kapchorua, posted a profit before tax of 1.15 billion shillings, slightly down from the previous year’s 1.16 billion shillings.

It attributed the flat performance to two hailstorms in April and August that cut its crop output.

A production rebound in the last quarter due to good rainfall was not enough to counter this decline.

Kapchorua, whose revenues are much smaller than Williamson’s, reported a pretax profit of 255.75 million shillings, more than double the 112.58 million shillings achieved in the previous period.

“There was rainfall throughout the year which ensured the crop levels remained high particularly in the last quarter of the year,” the company said in a statement.

Both firms warned that unpredictable weather conditions, uncertain market demand, foreign exchange fluctuation and the ever increasing costs of production could curb earnings this year.

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