Centum gifts its 90 employees Sh1 billion in bonuses

Christopher J. Kirubi
Centum’s majority shareholder Christopher Kirubi. PHOTO/FORBES
Investment firm Centum is rewarding its 90 employees with a generous gift, a whopping Sh1 billion in bonus, businessman Chris Kirubi has said.

Mr Kirubi, who is the majority shareholder in the NSE-listed firm, said in a tweet on Wednesday that the company had decided to give its workers the cash bonus to recognise their efforts in growing the revenues of the company.

“Today, we are awarding our staff a billion shillings bonus,” Mr Kirubi tweeted on Wednesday morning.

Last year, Centum awarded its employees an equivalent of Sh11 million after a sterling performance with top executives getting an average of Sh34 million.

On Wednesday, Centum Investment lifted its no-dividend policy that was issued in 2009 and the firm will now pay a Sh1 divided per share to its shareholders after posting Sh9.9 billion in net profit compared to Sh7.9 billion recorded a year earlier.

The improved performance was largely attributed to Sh5.4 billion gains realised from exits in its portfolio like AON and disposal of UAP to Old Mutual.

CEO James Mworia said: “In 2009 when we adopted this (no-dividend) policy we had a balance sheet of Sh6 billion of which cash was only Sh10 million and an overdraft of Sh175 million. That is what we started working with and now we are in a position to pay a good dividend to our shareholders.”

According to Mr Mworia, the total dividend payout is Sh660 million which is among the top 15 divided among Nairobi bourse-listed companies.

Mr Mworia said the firm’s planned shift from portfolio investor to being institutional developer of assets under its “Centum 3.0” strategy now in its third year of implementation had shown significant signs of success.

The investment firm is now active in seven sectors including education, energy, agribusiness, real estate, financial services, healthcare and fast moving consumer goods.