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Hope for Diaspora investors as FEP Group bounces back, posts Sh106 million profit

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A Kenyan investment club, partly backed by the Kenyan diaspora, has bounced back to profit on lower costs and a tax credit.

Fountain Enterprise Programme (FEP) Group posted Sh106.01 million profit in the period ended December 2016, compared to a loss of Sh905.7 million a year earlier. It made a loss of Sh1.4 billion in 2014.

The investment group’s revenue dipped by a quarter to Sh709 million due to some of its units posting lower earnings, FEP said in a trading update.

FEP’s administrative expenses dropped 15 per cent to Sh618.9 million as it cut finance costs by 37 per cent to Sh17 million in the period under review.

The chama also benefited from a Sh214.8 million tax credit in 2016 compared to a tax bill of 39.4 million the previous year.

“We have had improved business efficiency across the board owing to operational restructuring and better internal controls after the installation of a Sage Evolution enterprise resource planning (ERP) system,” said Maurice Korir, FEP Group chief executive.

FEP in 2014 began cutting back on administrative costs by reducing the number of regional offices and automating processes.

FEP has 70,273 shareholders, a significant number living in the UK and the US. FEP did not provide a breakdown of financial performance for each of its 15 subsidiaries broadly classified in four clusters, namely financial services and retail, energy and ICT, real estate and security, and education and hospitality.

Mr Korir said Kisima, the group’s real estate arm, recorded a fivefold growth in sales to Sh106 million from Sh21 million in 2015.

He disclosed that the chama had identified a strategic investor to acquire a 40 per cent stake in Fountain Technologies to help the unit build a war chest to bid for multi-billion shilling tenders such as power plants, telecoms, and electricity projects.

FEP’s asset base grew to Sh4.50 billion from Sh4.44 billion in 2015, but was still lower than the Sh5.7 billion registered in 2014.

-business daily

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Africa

IRONY: CNN Publishes Larry Madowo’s article after “Daily Nation’ rejects it

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Celebrated NTV news anchor Larry Madowo was on Wednesday dealt a major blow by his employer Nation Media Group (NMG), days after his controversial opinion piece on Interior and Coordination Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i.

In a tweet, Mr. Madowo disclosed that the Daily Nation, a paper published by the Aga Khan-owned media house, refused to publish his opinion piece on his FrontRow column.

NTV news anchor Larry Madowo (Facebook)

The outspoken journalist noted that it was the first time in nearly four years that such a thing happened during his employment at NMG.

“This week, the @dailynation refused to print my column for the first time in nearly 4 years,” he tweeted.

Though the Daily Nation refused to publish Madowo’s Wednesday opinion piece titled: Why it’s a perilous time to be a journalist in Kenya, International Media company CNN took up the article and published it.

“The irony aside, the same piece is now published on CNN,” he said.

In the piece, Madowo speaks of how he spent the night at his office after plain clothed police officers camped outside NMG’s building along Kimathi street with the intention of arresting him NTV Managing Editor Linus Kaikai and anchor Ken Mijungu.

The trio was being hunted down by police for refusing to adhere to Government’s order not to broadcast the controversial swearing-in of NASA leader Raila Odinga as the People’s President.

“They had orders to arrest my colleagues Linus Kaikai who also chairs the Editors Guild, reporter Ken Mijungu and myself without a warrant which would have set a dangerous precedent.

“The next day, we had to sneak out into a safe house as our lawyers battled to keep us from getting detained,” Madowo mentions in his piece.

Before Odinga’s oath-taking Madowo entered into a scuffle with his bosses over media independence during an official meeting.

The NTV news anchor was particularly agitated that the company had not taken any meaningful action to protect Justus Wanga – a Nation reporter who faced threats from Deputy President William Ruto’s press secretary David Mugonyi.

A source privy to the details of the meeting told Pulselive.co.ke that the management was considering scrapping Madowo’s column from the Daily Nation.

Read the full article here courtesy of CNN

-pulse.co.ke

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Africa

VIDEO: Noisy Ghanaian parliament welcomes the president for state of the nation address

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VIDEO: AU summit ends in Addis amid claims of bugging by the Chinese

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The 30th AU summit wound up Monday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia after 8 days of deliberations on a myriad of topics.

Meanwhile, China has dismissed reports it bugged the African Union (AU) headquarters as “preposterous”.

Kuang Weilin, the Chinese ambassador to the AU, told reporters in Ethiopia the “absurd” claim in France’s Le Monde was “very difficult to understand”.

He spoke out three days after the newspaper published an article claiming data from the Chinese-built AU building was being copied to Shanghai.

The article said the discovery resulted in all the AU servers being switched.

Le Monde spoke to a number of anonymous sources, who claimed the alleged transfer was taking place late at night [link in French], and was only spotted in January 2017 due to the spike in activity between midnight and 02:00, despite no-one being in the building.

It was suggested the alleged data transfer had been taking place since 2012, when the building, in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, was opened.

Officials also brought in security experts from Algeria to sweep the entire headquarters for potential bugs, the newspaper said, leading to the discovery of microphones in desks.

But Mr Kuang – who hailed the headquarters as a “monument” to his country’s relationship with the continent – said it was entirely untrue.

“I really question its intention,” he told reporters on Monday. “I think it will undermine and send a very negative message to people. I think it is not good for the image of the newspaper itself.

“Certainly, it will create problems for China-Africa relations.”

-Agencies

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