Former BOC operations in Africa are set for major changes following the recent global takeover by German industrial group Linde say local managers.

Mr Jonathan Narayadoo, General Manager of the former BOC subsidiary African Oxygen Limited (Afrox), said the local management of the firm is being developed to make the company a world-class player. $quot;We want to develop our people and infrastructure to reflect our international position of leaders in the fields in which we operate,$quot; he said.

The comments were made during an investor briefing in Nairobi. BOC Kenya managing director, Mr John Kariuki confirmed that some effects of the global merger had started being felt locally. For instance, he said, following take-over of BOC PLc by Linde in September last year, the financial year-end has been moved to December 31 from September 30, effective this financial year. BOC has a 65.38 percent shareholding in BOC Kenya Limited, which is a leading supplier of industrial and medical gases in the country.

During his talks with investors Kariuki discussed his company's good performance this year, with pre-tax profit was up 8.6 percent during the half-year ended March 31. Kariuki attributed the performance to improved economic activity, with key drivers being in agriculture, tourism, transport and communications sectors of the economy.