BARCLAYS Bank of Zimbabwe Limited has recorded an increase in after tax profit to $3 million for the year ended December 31, 2013 due to growth in net interest income.
After tax profit was $2,1 million in 2012.
In the period under review, net interest income increased to $12,3 million from $7,6 million, impairment losses on loans and advances grew to $712 098 from $532 182, while operating expenses declined to $33,9 million from $34 million in 2012.
Speaking at an analyst briefing in Harare on Wednesday, Barclays managing director George Guvamatanga said income growth at 5,3% was slowed down by the effect of capped charges and commissions, while cost containment and efficiency initiatives continued with the result that overall operating costs for 2013 were kept within the same levels as the prior year.
Guvamatanga said the bank’s strategy had yielded results with pre-tax profit growth of 70% year-on-year.
“Pre-tax profit has maintained a growth trend over the years. We maintain focus on sustainable growth over the long term. The 2013 profit after tax translates to earnings per share of 0,14 cents,” Guvamatanga said.
He said the year under review was characterised by sustained growth in bank lending, a marked improvement in people agenda, diversification of product suite and a strong presence within the community.
“The ability to apply consistent, high quality and strong risk management processes and controls is key to how we do business, in line with our ‘Go-To’ strategy. This strategy saw our loan book grow by 26% as we advanced loans to individuals and businesses across most sectors of the economy,” Guvamatanga said.
“We have maintained our commitment to not only grow our asset book, but to ensure a quality book.”
In the period under review, deposits grew to $248 million in 2013 from $225 million.
Guvamatanga said deposits grew at a cumulative annual growth rate of 15% since dollarisation and has been lower than internal targets, but remained steady.
“In tandem with the general market structure, the bank’s deposits have largely comprised short-term transitory funds with about a third coming from individual customers and the balance from business entities,” Guvamatanga said.
He said loans and advances grew by 26% year-on-year while the impairment losses and provisions for the year translate to a loan loss ratio of 0,6% demonstrating the quality of the bank’s loan portfolio as at the end of 2013.
“The bank still has to improve its cost to income ratio and initiatives are already under way to widen the positive jaws between income and cost levels.
“The high liquidity levels maintained by the bank have been a deliberate measure to ensure that the bank continues to meet customer payments in a timely and efficient manner.” Guvamatanga said.