NAIROBI, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Kenya’s Uchumi Supermarkets said on Wednesday its pretax loss narrowed to 1.66 billion shillings ($16.01 million) for the year ended June from 2.67 billion shillings, in results that were broadly endorsed by its auditor.
The chain closed some outlets last year, and is selling assets, such as land, after it sunk into deep losses. It is also seeking fresh funds from shareholders, including the Kenyan government.
Several former Uchumi directors and executives are facing charges brought by the market regulator.
Uchumi’s results for the year, released in a statement to the Nairobi stock exchange, were given a qualified opinion by auditor KPMG Kenya, meaning it broadly vounched for the company’s accounts.
It cited “the possible effect on the comparability of corresponding and current year figures for the consolidated and separate financial performance and cash flows” as a result of “loss of control of business” in the supermarket’s subsidiaries in Uganda and Tanzania in the previous financial year, as well as assets write off in that year.
Net sales fell by more than half to 2.6 billion shillings from 6.4 billion shillings during the previous year, Uchumi said. It added that the overall improved loss position for the year was due to “cost management implementation”. It did not give details.
Analysts say Uchumi, the only listed retail chain in Kenya, could stand to benefit from the implosion of privately held Kenyan supermarket chain Nakumatt, which owes creditors more than $300 million. (Reporting by Maggie Fick, editing by Louise Heavens)