Absa quarterly profit rises to Ksh.2 billion


Absa quarterly profit rises to Ksh.2 billion
Barclays Bank Kenya (BBK) Managing Director Jeremy Awori PHOTO | COURTESY

In Summary

  • The recorded profit growth is largely attributable to a rise in non-interest funded income (NFI) which increased by 15.4 percent to Ksh.3 billion from improved trading gains.
  • However, Absa Group operating expenses increased by 6.1 percent on the back of higher loan loss provisioning as the bank set aside Ksh.1.1 billion on expected loan losses in comparison to Ksh.636.7 million last year.
  • Absa’s one off exceptional costs related to its rebrand from Barclays totalled Ksh.552.1 million in the period as the lender finalizes on the migration.

Absa Group has posted a 5.3 percent growth in net profit for the first three months of the year to Ksh.2 billion from Ksh.1.9 billion in March 2019.

The recorded profit growth is largely attributable to a rise in non-interest funded income (NFI) which increased by 15.4 percent to Ksh.3 billion from improved trading gains.

Interest income meanwhile grew at a slower pace of 2.7 percent to Ksh.7.6 billion bringing total operating income to Ksh.8.6 billion from a flat Ksh.8 billion a year ago.

The lender’s balance sheet remained on an expansionary curve with net loans and advances to customers hitting Ksh.203 billion while customer deposits rose by 6.6 percent in the period to Ksh.238.7 billion.

“These results are a strong testament that our strategic choices under our growth, transformation and returns strategy have set us firmly on a path to continue growing,” Absa noted in a statement issued on Wednesday.

However, Absa Group operating expenses increased by 6.1 percent on the back of higher loan loss provisioning as the bank set aside Ksh.1.1 billion on expected loan losses in comparison to Ksh.636.7 million last year.

This is as the lender’s gross non-performing loans (NPLs) soared by 12.3 percent to Ksh.17.3 billion after falling marginally to Ksh.13.5 billion at the end of 2019.

Absa’s one off exceptional costs related to its rebrand from Barclays totalled Ksh.552.1 million in the period as the lender finalizes on the migration.

The bank has so far undertaken the vast majority of its separation projects with the new brand having been unveiled in February this year.

The lender stay on the growth curve is expected to be shaken up by the prevailing pandemic which has equally hit out at the banking industry.

“We are cognizant that the Covid-19 pandemic continues to pose significant challenges for the industry and the economy at large. The level of uncertainty relating to this crisis is high and unprecedented and will have a negative impact on business globally including the banking industry in Kenya,” Absa added.

“The banking industry will feel the Covid-19 impact from April onwards and the impact will likely continue throughout the year.”

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Story By Kepha Muiruri
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