A substantial drop in impairments on loans and advances, following previous years' tightening of credit granting criteria, enabled
Return on equity increased to 15.5 percent from 14.1 percent and the group declared a final dividend of R4.70 a share for a full-year ordinary dividend payout of R8.20. During the year the group paid a special dividend of R7.08 a share.
The full-year results are the first since the completion of the merger between
Commenting on the results at a presentation yesterday, group chief executive
Ramos said the steps that had been taken in recent years to "de-risk" the business by tightening credit granting criteria meant the local business was in a strong position as it headed into an increasing interest rate environment.
The group's key objectives for the next three years include to be in the top three banks by revenue in
Commenting after the results presentation on speculation about her possible move from the bank, Ramos said: "I am fully committed to delivering on the targets and commitments we have made to the board and which we outlined as part of our full-year results… I am committed to staying the course and I will continue to serve as chief executive for as long as the board so wishes."
Group revenue grew 8 percent to R59.4 billion and the pre-provision profit increased 5 percent to R26bn.
A substantial 65 percent reduction in home loan impairments was the major factor behind the 22 percent drop in impairments at the group's local retail banking division, which enabled it to increase its earnings 36 percent to R4.9bn. At business banking headline earnings increased 64 percent to R1.7bn.
The improved performance at the group's retail banking division saw bonus costs at
Looking ahead, the board expects mid-single-digit loan growth in
The shares gained 2.77 percent to R127.50 yesterday.
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