Sameer Africa Reports Losses
Sameer Africa recently announced that it had accrued 22 million Kenyan shillings (£164,000) of losses after sales were hit by a sudden influx low price imported tyres. Speaking during the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the firm’s Mombasa Road Plant, Sameer Africa Board Chairman Naushad Merali said the sales nosedive of locally manufactured tyres followed the reduction of imported tyre tariffs from 35 to 10 per cent. Merali however noted that the fact Bridgestone has not withdrawn its 14.5 per cent share-holding in the company was a sign of Bridgestone’s confidence in Sameer Africa’s potential.
According to local news sources, Sameer has made “strategic alliances” with other international tyre manufacturers to increase its product offering in the regional market. The Kenya times reported that this includes off-take agreements with brands such as Bridgestone, Dunlop South Africa and Hankook.
At the same time, the firm announced plans for a turn-around strategy aimed at improving the company’s performance. Sameer is investing KES1.2 billion (£8.9 million) in the construction of a Sameer Business Park to make use of the extensive prime land at the Mombasa Road site.
“After the adoption of our new company name and the launch of new tyre brand, Yana in 2005, the year 2006 was the period when we had to firmly establish the two brands both in our domestic and export markets”, said Merali.
During 2006 sameer invested KES88.1 million in the modernization of machinery and the re-branding of tyre molds to Yana tyres. The company also spent KES66 million on staff restructuring and related costs.
Sameer Africa Limited, formerly Firestone East Africa Ltd, was established in Kenya as a joint venture between Firestone Tyre and Rubber Company of the USA and the Government of Kenya with the aim of producing tyres for the Kenyan and the East African market. The switch to the new name was the final phase of a rebranding process by Sameer Africa which had traded as Firestone East Africa (1969) until April 2005.