Centum Group PLC has recorded Sh7.4 billion after-tax profit for the year ending March 2020 representing a 79 per cent jump in earnings. The company’s shareholders will earn a total dividend payout of Sh798 million of the period ending March 31 2020.
The group’s total income rose by 33.7 per cent to Sh15.8 billion. The first of a five-year ‘Centum 4.0’ strategy in which the company is focused on building a strong, debt-free balance sheet, enhancement of liquidity and cash generation by the portfolio companies.
According to the Centum Group CEO James Mworia, “the performance sets a strong foundation for the remaining four-year strategy period, especially after the company announced the repayment of all its medium and long-term debt within 14 months of commencement of the new strategy.”
On June 8th 2020, the Group announced that it had fully repaid an outstanding amount of Sh6.6 Billion on its five-year corporate public bond. Likewise, in September 2019 the company paid off USD 75 Million (Sh7.8 Billion) of a US Dollar-denominated debt.
“This deleveraging will save Sh1.8 billion in annual finance costs, which will further enhance the company’s future performance and dividend payout,” Mworia added.
The firms four main business units include private equity, real estate, marketable securities and development, all recorded robust performance in the year. As part of its strategy to boost its liquidity position, the group held Sh9 billion in marketable securities and cash deposits as of March 31, 2020, about Sh6.7 billion higher than the previous year.
“The enhanced liquidity further provides us with a platform to take advantage of available opportunities in the private equity and in public markets under the current market conditions,” Mworia said.
He further added, ” the group is now pursuing a sales-led development model and is currently constructing 1,442 residential units across its three mixed-use developments. 999 units with a revenue potential of Sh7.8 billion, had been sold as at March 31, 2020 – representing a pre-sale level of 70 per cent.
The Centum Group CEO also acknowledged the tough reality of the global Covid-19 pandemic but said it was an opportunity for investments at “reasonably priced valuations” as economies recover.