Kenya's biggest cement producer, Bamburi, reported a 55 percent jump in first-half pretax profit to 4.5 billion shilling ($59 million), as the economy recovered from last year's violence.

Turnover was up 42 percent to 16.2 billion shillings driven by strong domestic demand and exports to other African countries, the Lafarge subsidiary said on Monday.

The improvement in the results shows a remarkable recovery in the domestic market from the effects of post-election violence during the same period last year, Bamburi said.

Bamburi saw a 49 percent jump in operating profit to 4.3 billion shillings although production costs increased 52 percent, mainly on energy costs and depreciation of local currencies.

Earnings per share climbed 55 percent to 8.19 shillings.

The strong results...demonstrates the group's resilience in the difficult economic conditions spurred by global economic downturn, increased competition and the negative impact of the fluctuating rate of local currencies against major hard currencies, chairman Richard Kemoli said.

An ongoing drought in Kenya is hitting key sectors of Kenya's agriculture-based economy and the effects are expected to extend to the construction industry, Bamburi said.

Kenya used up 2.4 million tonnes in 2008 and Bamburi expects it consumption to increase by 12 percent this year.

(Reporting by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura; Editing by Dan Lalor)

($1 = 76.25 shillings)