Zimbabwe-based NMBZ Holdings, whose primary subsidiary is commercial bank NMB Bank Limited, recorded attributable profits of about $1.39 million for the first half of 2014, a significant improvement on the attributable loss of $3.3 million at the end of 2013. However total income dropped by 7.23 per cent due to increased operating costs.
Profits before taxes amounted to more than $2.1 million, sharp growth compared to $1.8 million in the same period of 2013. The Bank attributed last year's losses to efforts made to contain non-performing loans, but its retrenchment programme over the last few years has also had its effect, particularly in H1 2011.
"This loss [during that time] was because we spent a lot of money on our retrenchment programme," James Mushore, NMBZ CEO, told analysts gathered in Harare for a briefing about the results.
"I think we have done well because in Zimbabwe we still have the lowest inflation in the region right now - at less than three percent - but our retrenchment exercise affected our earnings," he added.
Benson Ndachena, NMBZ's Chief Financial Officer, said that NMBZ had continued to experience a relatively stable economic environment in H1 2014.
"A combination of political stability and international re-engagement resulted in considerable growth in business activity in the country," he said.
The Group's total assets grew by 1.74 per cent from $2.6 million at end-2013 to $2.64 million as of June 2014. The assets comprised mainly loans, advances and other accounts, followed by non-current assets held for sale, investment securities held to maturity, investment in debentures, cash and short-term funds, investment properties and equipment.