Centum Investments has posted a 10.67 per cent growth in net income in the six month period ended September driven by growth in investment income and a corresponding increase in costs. The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) listed firm, which has been investing heavily in real estate in Kenya and Uganda has said that profits after tax rose to Sh892 for the period ended September 2013 from Sh806 million over a similar period ended September 2012.

Centum, which has other investments in private and quoted equities said its investment income rose by 59.95 per cent to Sh1.19 billion over the first six months of its reporting period this year from Sh749 million over a similar period last year. The company has not paid dividends since March 2008 after the Board of Directors decided to freeze any payments for a five year period and use the funds for investments.

“This is the last year of our 2009 – 2014 strategy period and we are confidently headed for a strong finish. With improving economic fundamentals, we are confident of better prospects for generating alpha during the second half of the year for our quoted private equity portfolio,” said James Mworia in statement. Finance costs more than doubled while operating and administrative costs jumped 74.44 per cent to Sh298 million and Sh219 million from Sh103 million and Sh126 million respectively, reflecting the additional costs of projects which are underway and acquisitions the company has been making. Last month, the investment firm announced that it was acquiring a 73.35 per cent stake in Genesis Kenya Investment Management, the second largest fund manager in the country.

Centum said that its two rivers project is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2015 and that it is in the final stages of securing approvals for the Pearl Marina project in Kampala whose construction is expected to start next year.

Centum’s shares which closed at Sh31.25 during Tuesday’s trading at the Nairobi Securities Exchange have risen by more than two and a half times this year from Sh12.35 the opening price at the start of this year.