Centum Investment company Limited, East Africa’s largest quoted investment firm recorded a Kes 1.1Bn gain in net worth for the year ended 31 March 2012, which increased the net asset value per share by 9% to Kes 20.57. The book value of the firm has grown by Kes 7.8Bn (a cumulative growth of 133%) since the beginning of their strategy period in 2009.
Speaking during the firm’s Investor briefing and release of the full year results, Centum CEO Mr. James Mworia noted that the year to March 2012 was a challenging one with the NSE index falling by 13%, double digit inflation, sharp increase in the cost of credit and very tight liquidity. He said the firm’s ability to generate returns in this tough business environment was strongly attributed to the focus on; (i) execution activities on the real estate and private equity portfolios which created value in the year, (ii) diversification from market returns which saw growth in the Real Estate and Private Equity portfolios, and (iii) enhancement of cash position while reducing expensive debt.
“Centum recorded an average return of 33% over the past three years, compared to an average NSE 20 return of 9% in the same period”, said Mworia
Total assets in the year grew from Kes 15Bn to Kes 15.7Bn.
On the real estate front Centum secured critical approvals necessary to enable commencement of the Two Rivers development; which is located along Limuru Road. Two Rivers is set to be a premium world class master planned urban address that will be the number one regional destination in East Africa.
On the private equity front, their portfolio companies achieved key milestones with UAP raising a significant amount of capital from some of the most respected private equity funds and Longhorn listing its shares and subsequently rallying by over 40%.
Mr. Mworia noted that Centum has developed a very attractive and proprietary pipeline of private equity opportunities across the region and expects significant investment to be made in the FY2012/2013.
Centum’s strategic goal for the strategy period remains growth of assets under management to Kes 30Bn by 2014 and to provide investors access to an otherwise inaccessible portfolio of investments. To this end the Company’s management has a positive outlook and sees the FY2012/13 as a transformative one for the firm.
Centum, the largest quoted Investment Company in East Africahas invested in a portfolio valued in excess of US $ 170 million comprising of investments in private equity, listed equity and real estate. Keen on delivering market beating returns over the years, the firm has recorded average net asset value (NAV) return of 33% in the last three years compared to an NSE 20 return of 6%.
Diversification of revenue streams has seen the firm increase the proportion of inaccessible assets in Private Equity and Real estate from 62% in 2009 to 85% in 2012.
Earlier in the year, UAP; a Centum portfolio company raised KES 4.7 billion from respected private equity funds to strengthen the Group’s balance sheet to finance its real estate projects and support its planned African expansion. Centum invested Ksh.163 Million in UAP in 2003 and have seen a ten times uplift in value at the closure of this transaction.