British firms have justified their investments in Kenya by raking in mega earnings in the year ending 2013, with investors holding significant stakes in Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) -listed companies earning a total of Sh19.2 billion ($222 million) in dividends and fees.
Vodafone, Diageo, BAT, Barclays and Standard Chartered lead the pack of gainers.
British multinational telecommunications company, Vodafone Group, who has the largest stake (40 percent) in local telecoms giants Safaricom, made a total of Sh7.3 billion ($85 million) in M-Pesa royalty fees and dividends.
London-based bank, Standard Chartered Plc made Sh3.3 billion ($38 million) from its Kenyan unit, StanChart Kenya, where it holds a 73.89 percent stake.
London Stock Exchange-listed Barclays Bank Plc will rake in Sh2.6 billion ($30 million) from its Kenyan subsidiary for the period under review. The lender has a majority stake of 68.5 percent in Barclays Bank of Kenya.
British American Tobacco Plc posted Sh2.2 billion ($26 million) earnings in dividends from BAT Kenya where it has a 60 percent stake.
World’s largest producer of spirits, with headquarters in London, Diageo has also earned Sh2.1 billion ($24 million) in dividends for the year ended June 2013, with East African Breweries Limited (EABL) where it holds a 50.03 percent stake doing well.
With popular brands such as Johnnie Walker, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Smirnoff and Guinness, which Diageo manufactures and distributes in Kenya through EABL, the British brewer would expect an exciting 2014.
Not only British multinationals did well in 2013, business in Kenya was also good for private equity firms, with Helios EB Investors’ 24.45 percent stake in Equity Bank earning the London-based private equity firm Sh1.3 billion ($15 million) for the year ended December 2013.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has forecasted a GDP growth rate of 5.2 percent in 2014, up from 4.5 percent in 2013; an economic outlook that would encourage the British firms to invest more in the Kenyan market. With business looking good for in 2014, investors are expected to record more earnings in dividends. (VENTURES AFRICA)