Thursday, March 09, 2006
Today, I visited my stockbroker to collect a check from selling Kenya Airways stock that I got in their IPO 10 years ago. I found that the place was even more crowded by people opening CDS accounts, and most of the people coming in from downstairs were all asking watchmen and clerks, “where do I register for the Kengen IPO?”
The lobby has several annual reports for people to peruse, one of them being the Kenya Airways annual report & accounts from 1996, and which I found to be an nice read. Some highlights;
- 1996 was a momentous year, in which KLM had bought 26% of the airline (Dec ’95) after which the Government sold a further 51% to both Kenyan and overseas investors.
- KQ was K7
- Kenya Airways, was and still is branded the “PRIDE OF AFRICA”
- Turnover for the year was 10 billion shillings, and after tax profit was 1.5 billion. This was down from 2.2 billion the year before and was largely attributed to an exceptional payment of 411 million to settle pilot salary arrears.
- Employees were each given 1,000 shares alongside a subsided loan scheme to enable them to buy more shares- resulting in k7 employees owning 3% of the company.
- Isaac Omolo Okero was chairman of a board that included, among others, Benjamin Kipkulei, Amos Wako, Hosea Kiplagat, Stanley Murage and the late Phillip Ndegwa who had passed away in January 96.
- Effects of the gulf war were subsiding and sub-saharan economies were projected to grow at 7% over the next five years.
- Issues of concern at the airline were punctuality (K7 trumpeted that “punctuality improved to reach its target of 90% of flights departing within 15 minutes of schedule) and passenger complaints (“There was a 20% reduction in pax complaints from the year before”)
- In IT, K7 was working to switch to KLM computer check-in systems by December 1996. Also, to improve customer service, new telephone PABX systems had been installed at Nairobi and Mombasa airports to take advantage of a new fibre-optic link installed by KP&TC. In addition all switchboard personnel had been trained in customer service and the number of staff answering calls had been increased.
- Kenya Airways frequent flyer program or Msafiri had 765 members.
- Two 737-700 had been ordered to cater for regional expansion services and which would replace 737-200. The premier class cabins of the Airbus planes had been expanded form 12 to 18 seats and a new in-flight entertainment system had been installed, mainly to serve the Heathrow – Nairobi route where K7 was the only airline offering non-stop service.