Over 600 employees to lose jobs as Kenya’s biggest tyre manufacturer shuts down


Sameer Africa top brass address the press. The Manufacturer is set to close shop a move that will impact 600 employees.[Bizna/bizna.co.ke]

Yana tyres manufacturer Sameer Africa Limited has announced plans to close down it’s major Nairobi factory as the firm continues to post dismal performances over the last financial years.

The move which will see 600 staffs go home has been approved by the Capital Market Authority.

In a statement sent out to newsrooms, the company Managing Director Allan Walmsley attributed the to an influx of cheap imports from China which has made the market unfavourably and unconducive.

“As a result, the company will incur a one-off charge in respect of plant and inventory impairment and employee severance costs estimated at approximately Sh725 million.” reads part of the press statement.

“The earnings for the current financial year are therefore expected to be lower by more than 25 per cent of the earnings reported for the same period in 2015,” he added.

Sameer Africa Limited is the only tyre manufacturer in Kenya. It has been making losses. Since 2006, Sameer Africa Limited has seen a systematic reduction in its market share witnessing a decline from a high of 62 per cent in 2005 to only 25 per cent today.

“Yana Tyres will continue to be engineered under the supervision of the company’s own chemists and engineers. We will also continue to expand our Summit Tyre offering for all markets and we will continue to distribute Bridgestone tyres in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda,” said Walmsley.

The company now joins others which have seen workers retrenched. So far Barclays bank and Coca-Cola have downgraded their workforce.