Vivo Energy maintains market lead despite Covid-19 hurdles

The growth is attributed to a huge network footprint and a strategic customer-focused recovery plan

In Summary
  • It increased its Kenya petroleum market share up by 2.38 per cent to 24.6 per cent
  •  Rubis Energy took the third position with its market share shrinking to 9.01 despite a heavy rebranding campaign. 
Vivo Energy Kenya MD Managing Peter Murungi and Sandra Mutua engage recruit a customer onto Shell Club, during the launch of Shell Sabaki station on November 13

Vivo Energy, the company behind the Shell brand in Kenya outsold its rivals to maintain market leadership despite a subdued market occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The Petroleum Institute of East Africa third-quarter market report shows Vivo grew its overall market share to 18.5 per cent during the period  compared to an average of 15 per cent in the last two previous quarters.

Total Kenya is second with a 1.43 per cent marginal growth, closing at an overall market share of 15.01 per cent while Rubis Energy emerged third, recording a market share of 9.01 per cent.

Vivo Energy increased its Kenya petroleum market share by 2.38 per cent to 24.6 per cent, followed by Total Kenya who reported a growth of 2.05 per cent to 18.81 per cent.

Rubis Energy took the third position with its market share shrinking to 9.01 despite a heavy rebranding after taking over KenolKobil and Gulf Energy stations. 

Vivo also commanded the petroleum retail business, pushing up its market grip by almost 100 basis points to 32.1 per cent from 31.4 per cent in the previous quarter.

The report attributes the growth to a huge network footprint and a strategic customer-focused recovery plan that Vivo Energy has  implemented during this pandemic year. 

In the aviation sector, Rubis Energy remains the market leader but experienced a drop of 4.7 per cent to 51.6 per cent.

Kenya petroleum sales volumes have doubled in the past 10 years, moving from 2.8 million litres to 5.7 million last year with Super petrol growing steadily at almost five-fold and at 2.4 times the industry growth rate. 

Diesel has had a steady growth of 1.8 times but went experience a slow uptake beginning in 2017 while JET grows at 1.3 times, way below the industry growth rate. 

According to the report, Kerosene sales declined by 28 per cent due to the tough tax regime on the product in the fight against Covid-19.

Vivo Energy Kenya MD Peter Murungi said despite  a challenging year, they have been deliberate and optimistic in actualising a consumer-centric recovery plan.

''The improvements we have made this quarter are glimpses of deliberate Covid-19 initiatives we developed and invested in. We believe that our solid recovery plan coupled with agility and a positive business environment mindset will enable us to yield even better results going forward,” Murungi said.

During the pandemic, the firm ran a Pamoja Milele campaign alongside the Karibu Sana campaign that interacted directly with customers, from May to November 2020.

The company also invested heavily in a network expansion program, especially during the post-Covid lockdown season. 

The report points to growth in the petroleum retail business in the quarter under review, registering a 52.6 per cent increase up from 47.9 per cent during Q2, 2020.

Other top industry consumers include resellers who emerged second, albeit it recorded a marginal loss of 23.9 per cent down from 29.4 per cent it recorded in the previous quarter, this year.

Civil aviation, transport, manufacturing, building and construction, agriculture, hospitality and mining which are major fuel consumers were adversely impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of December 2019, Kenya had over 3,092 registered fuel stations with projections of closing 2021 with 3,140 outlets 

Although independent oil companies control 68 per cent of stations in the country, they account for only 28  of the sales volumes.

The top oil marketing companies cater for 26 per cent of stations but account for 72 per cent of the volumes sold.