Equity posts Ksh11bn six month profit

Equity Group has announced a Ksh11 billion profit for the first six months of the year, an 18 percent increase from the Sh9.4 billion posted last year.

The performance was anchored on the group’s trading in government securities which stood at Sh158.9 billion up from Sh115.6 billion.

Speaking during the release of the results, Equity Group chief executive officer James Mwangi said the lender had brought in fresh managerial and operational models to maintain momentum in growth in the wake of a tougher operating environment.

“The business model has effectively enabled us to separate ourselves from the pack and demonstrate managerial capabilities and competence. We are now focused on efficiency in treasury trading, geographical expansion, innovation, cost optimization, brand development and social impact in society,” Mr Mwangi said.

Equity posted four percent growth in net loans with the loan book expanding to Sh275 billion over the six months period to contribute to the group’s 10 percent growth in interest income.

Equity’s non-Kenyan subsidiaries continued to hold promise for the lender with the differentiated segments combining efforts to contribute to 25 percent of the total group’s profitability for the first half of the year.

The group’s non-performing loans (NPLs) however rose to a near 10 percent owing largely to the lender’s extra provisions to the implementation of the new IFRS9 measures and unpaid dues by government.

“The delay in payment by counties and some arms of central government to SMEs has been a challenge. Once this liquidity is released we expect to see some of these customers repaying their loans,” Equity Group director of credit Elizabeth Gathai said.

The lender has expressed optimism on a stronger second half pointing to the strong economic growth outlook for the region and a supportive operating environment following the notable conclusion of the macroeconomic disruptions of 2017.

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Story By Kepha Muiruri
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