SECOND largest lender by market value Equity bank reported yesterday its profit after tax surged 9.9 per cent to Sh13.28 billion for the year period ended
Customer deposits grew 16 per cent to Sh194.8 billion from Sh165.8 billion in 2012. The bank said it retired most of expensive deposits on its books hence the Sh1.5 billion slump in interest expenses.
During the year, the bank lent out Sh35.67 billion resulting to a total loan book of Sh171.36 billion up from Sh135.69 billion a year earlier. The bank's net interest rose by a relatively slim Sh4.38 billion to Sh26.49 billion in what Mwangi attributed to a higher interest regime averaging "24 per cent in 2012 compared to 16 per cent in 2013".
Mwangi said a total of Sh700 million has been set aside for impairment costs in
Non-interest income stood at Sh15.37 billion, representing a jump of 20 per cent from the previous year's Sh12.86 billion. This was driven by increased fees and commissions following a growth in customer and agent transactions as well as foreign exchange.
The bank maintained a dividend payout proposal of Sh1.50 a share with earnings per unit having risen 62 cents in 2013 to Sh3.59.
The bank's operational efficiency improved to 49.62 per cent from 53.16 per cent in 2012 as measured by cost to income ratio after total income rose 14 per cent to Sh41.86 billion against a 16 per cent climb in operating expenses.
"We remain optimistic that the growth momentum will be maintained in 2014 supported by stable economic environment and the investments in ICT, mobile and agency banking and growth in SMEs portfolio," the Equity chief said.
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