, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 6 – Equity Bank has announced a 22 percent surge in after-tax profit of Sh3.2 billion for the first quarter of 2013 from Sh2.6 billion in the similar period last year.
The bank also grew its total income by 13 percent to Sh10.2 billion from Sh9.01 billion, total operating cost by eight percent to Sh5.73 billion from Sh5.31 billion and total assets by 21 percent to Sh252.2 billion from Sh208.9 billion as at March 31, 2012.
Equity Bank’s Group Managing Director James Mwangi says that the bank will focus on innovation, new market segments and growing the networks to sustain growth.
“Diversification of the bank’s portfolio along with strategic global and local partnerships, regional expansion and increase in the number of Equity Bank agents will drive growth and deepen the bank’s penetration into the market,” Mwangi said.
Net loans and advances grew by 21 percent during the period to close at Sh252.2 billion in March 2013 compared to Sh208.9 billion last year.
Mwangi said that the strategic growth of SME lending brought about rapid growth in the loan book.
“The bank’s long term borrowing funds increased by 66 percent to Sh24.7 billion up from Sh14.8 billion on the back of an enhanced global rating for the bank,” he announced.
Customer deposits grew by 14 percent from Sh153.7 billion in March 2012 to Sh175.3 billion in March 2013, as the bank’s customer base grew by more than 200,000 to over 8.0 million up from 7.8 million a year ago.
“This is a great performance despite a challenging business environment, characterised by uncertainty from the recent General Election and falling interest rates, prudent cost and risk management,” he said.
Mwangi pointed out that East African economies are expected to continue benefiting from the stability of interest rates at lower levels than those experienced in the first quarter of 2012.
He stated that the peaceful elections, improvement in weather conditions , continued prudent micro economics and fiscal management will result in improving business confident.