South Africa-based banking group Barclays Africa Group, majority owned by British Barclays, said its headline earnings rose 14% y/y to ZAR 11.84bn (EUR 786.7mn) in 2013 due to a 21% decline in credit impairments to ZAR 7bn. Headline earnings per share, which exclude certain one-off items and are the major profitability gauge in South Africa, also increased 14% to 1,397 cents.
Pre-provision profit rose 5% y/y to ZAR 26bn, as revenue growth improved in the second half of 2013, but remained below cost growth that included substantial investment spending. The group's return on equity (ROE) improved to 15.5% from 14.1%. Net interest income increased 10% y/y to ZAR 32.35bn in 2013 as average interest-bearing assets rose 6% and net interest margin rose to 4.48% from 4.28% a year earlier.
Barclays Africa Group's total assets widened by 7% to ZAR 959.6bn as of end-December. Loans grew 7% y/y to ZAR 605.3bn and deposits rose 8% to ZAR 588bn.
JSE-listed Absa declared a final dividend of 470 cents per share. It is the first of the country's "big four" banks to report its results to end-December.
Barclays Africa Group was created after South African banking group Absa Group has completed a deal with its parent, British Barclays, under which it is buying Barclays' operations in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia and the Barclays Africa Regional Office in South Africa for a consideration of 129,540,636 new Absa shares, representing a value of ZAR 18.3bn. As a result, Barclays' stake in Absa Group, which was renamed to Barclays Africa Group, increased from 55.5% to 62.3%.