Bamburi taps ex-Unilever executive in management changes

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A SECTION OF BAMBURI CEMENT FACTORY IN MOMBASA. FILE PHOTO | NMG
A SECTION OF BAMBURI CEMENT FACTORY IN MOMBASA. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Bamburi Cement has named former Unilever executive Grace Oluoch as its new finance director, taking over from Eric Kironde who headed the key unit since 2011.

Mr Kironde, who briefly held the post of Bamburi managing director in an acting capacity between October last year and February this year, has been reassigned to an unnamed role according to a statement from the cement firm.

“The company is pleased to announce the appointment of Grace Oluoch as finance director,” the Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed company said in a regulatory notice Friday.

“…The board is confident that Eric is the right person to take up the new (unnamed) role which is critical to the group,” it added.

Ms Oluoch has had a long career with consumer goods giant Unilever holding different roles in South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya.

In February this year, Bamburi named Seddiq Hassani as its new managing director and appointed him to the firm’s board.

He joined the cement maker from LafargeHolcim’s global operations where he served as head of growth and innovation for Middle East and Africa.

Bamburi is east Africa’s largest cement maker by market share. It is controlled 58.6 per cent by French multinational LafargeHolcim.

The firm posted a 78.2 per cent drop in net profit for the half year ended June, weighed down by flat sales and higher operating costs.

Its net profit dropped to Sh399 million in the period from Sh1.83 billion a year earlier after revenues remained flat at Sh18.55 billion compared to Sh18.58 billion a year earlier.

The company, which recently undertook a Sh8 billion expansion programme in Kenya and Uganda, saw its operating costs rise by 9.16 per cent in the period to Sh17.3 billion compared to Sh15.9 billion a year earlier.

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