NAIROBI, March 20 (Reuters) - Kenyan carbon dioxide maker Carbacid posted on Tuesday a 34 percent rise in pre-tax profit to 257.2 million shillings ($3.1 mln) for the half-year to end-January, lifted by sales to new export markets.
The firm's turnover rose to 473.7 million shillings from 290.6 million in the same period a year earlier.
"This increase in turnover was achieved by penetrating new export markets," Carbacid said in a statement.
"Continued high costs of power and fuel will remain the major challenges to maintain margins in the second quarter of the year. Currency movements will also impact on the results in the second half of the year."
The Kenyan shilling hit a series of record lows last year, pressured by rising inflation on the back of higher fuel prices and a severe drought, but recovered after a tightening of monetary policy by the central bank in the fourth quarter.
Directors recommended an interim dividend of 3 shillings per share, up from 2 shillings in the same period last year. ($1 = 82.7500 Kenyan shillings) (Reporting by Kevin Mwanza; Editing by Kim Coghill)