KENYA – According to a public announcement dated June 5, 2024, by Isabella Ochola-Wilson, Chairman of Unga Group Plc, the company has appointed Mr. James Nyutu as the Acting Group Managing Director, effective June 4, 2024.

Mr. Nyutu brings a wealth of experience to his new role, having served as the Group Finance and ICT Director for Unga Group Plc and its subsidiaries. With over 20 years of management experience, he is well-equipped to strategically oversee the Group’s operations and general management functions.

He has extensive experience in the manufacturing industry, complemented by a proven track record of success, which will be crucial during Unga Group’s transition phase.

Mr. Nyutu holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University, and a Bachelor’s in Commerce from the University of Nairobi. 

His professional qualifications include Certified Public Accountant (Kenya), Certified Public Secretary (Kenya), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), and Institute for the Management of Information Systems (IMIS).

This appointment follows the departure of Mr. Joseph Choge, who served as the Group Managing Director until May 31, 2024.

Before joining Unga Group Plc, he was the CEO of Premier Foods, a prominent fruit jams and sauces manufacturer in Kenya. 

During his tenure at Unga Group, the company relaunched its rice and pulses under the brand name Amana, which we have recently relaunched.

Amana was initially introduced in 2014, offering Basmati and Pishori rice varieties. Its expansion into pulses has introduced green grams and various bean varieties, including black beans, yellow, and rose-coco beans.

Earlier this year, Unga Group Plc reported a net loss of KES 341.6 million (US2.27M) for the half-year that ended December 31, 2023, compared to a net loss of KES 131.3 million (US$872,500) for a similar period in 2022, a 160% decline.

According to the Group, profitability for this period was negatively affected by high input costs due to a local supply deficit, resulting in increased importation and higher raw material and shipping expenses.

However, the giant miller saw its revenue rise marginally from KES 12 billion (US$80M) to KES 12.4 billion (US$82.4M), a 3% increase, while its operating profit decreased to KES 32.2 million (US$214,000) from KES 105.5 million (US$701,000).

According to Unga Group’s Board of Directors, the 3% revenue increase was attributed to higher volumes, coupled with price adjustments aimed at partially offsetting the rise in raw material costs.

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