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Absa FY 2019 Normalized Profit after tax up 15% to Kes 8.5 billion

Absa Bank Kenya PLC on Monday reported a normalized profit after tax of Kshs8.5 billion for the period ended 31 December 2019, a growth of 15% compared to a similar period last year. Normalized performance excludes exceptional item of Kes 1.5billion, which relates to costs incurred in the re-branding exercise into Absa. The performance is mainly attributable to a 7% growth in total income, 1% growth in operating costs partially offset by a 9% growth in impairment.

Total assets grew by 15% year on year driven by growth in customer loans, government securities as well as other liquid assets.

Net customer loans was up 10% to close at Kshs195 billion driven by key focus products namely; general lending, asset finance, mortgage and scheme loans that recorded strong growth year on year. Customer deposits grew by 15% to Kshs.238 billion with transaction accounts making up 70% of the total deposits.

“What has been really exciting about our transition is that we are building on a strong foundation, a rich legacy that spans over a century. As we look into the future, we are excited about the opportunities as well as the challenges. Particularly so because, just like our fellow Kenyans, challenges present us with opportunities to innovative, to create and continue adding value to our communities. We are excited about this and the chance to co-create the future of our country,” Absa Bank Kenya PLC Managing Director, Jeremy Awori

During the period, total income increased by 7% to Kshs33.8 billion driven mainly by the growth of non- interest income, which was up by 9% year on year. The main areas of growth were risk fees, fixed income trading and risk managed products (RMPs).  Interest income grew by 5% from the previous year largely because of growth in the lending book; though partially offset by the margin compression as a result of drop in Central Bank Reference rate (CBR).

The Bank costs were well managed at Kshs17.3 billion reflecting a 1% increase year on year largely because of spend discipline and cost saves initiatives. The cost saves initiatives included automation of the processing centres, investment in alternative channels and branch rationalization programs. The savings derived were used to fund sustainable investments especially in automation and digitization.

Key Highlights

  • Delivered 100% on separation projects including successfully migrating all technology systems that were previously hosted in Barclays UK. The bank is still upgrading to more advanced systems which will ultimately help enhance the service experience
  • Re-branded our business to our new name Absa replacing Barclays after 103 years
  • Embedded  the new Absa values across the organisation
  • Rebranded all our legal names and assets including changing of our trading ticker at the NSE to Absa

Impairment increased by 9% compared to similar period last year largely attributable to a few clients. The Bank’s average loan loss ratio remained at 2.2% (2.2% in 2018) and Net NPL ratio dropped to 1.6% from 2.4% in 2018.Absa Bank Kenya Plc capital and liquidity ratios remain strong with sufficient headroom above the regulatory requirement; total capital adequacy ratio at 16.7% and liquidity reserve position at 35.7% against the regulatory limits of 14.5% and 20% respectively.

The directors recommended a final dividend of Kes 0.9. This brings the total dividend payout for the financial year 2019 to Kes 1.1.