September 8, 2014 / 7:18 AM / 5 years ago

Kenya's Uchumi Supermarkets full year pretax profit falls 7 pct

NAIROBI, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Kenya’s Uchumi Supermarkets said on Monday that profit before tax in the year to June fell 7 percent, blaming competition and supply challenges in Uganda and the cost of investment in new branches in Kenya and Tanzania.

It reported profit before tax of 452.7 million shillings ($5.11 million) compared with 485.9 million shillings a year ago, and posted earnings per share of 1.45 shillings against 1.35 shillings last year.

It said total group sales grew less than 1 percent to 14.46 billion shillings, pointing to Uganda where it said sales growth fell 12 percent due to strong competition and supply chain challenges. It said it could move some outlets to better locations this year.

Tanzania sales grew by 10 percent, while Kenya registered a 2 percent growth in sales, the firm said, adding that new branches took the total supermarket network in financial 2013/14 to 27 in Kenya, four in Tanzania and six in Uganda.

The firm’s shares trade in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania.

The firm said it expected business to grow, prompting the board of directors to recommend a dividend of 0.30 shillings per ordinary share. ($1 = 88.5500 Kenyan shilling) (Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by George Obulutsa and William Hardy)

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