, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 29 – Equity Group Holdings has recorded a 13 per cent increase in Profit before Tax in the first quarter of 2015. Profits for the period grew from Sh5.4 billion to Sh6.1 billion posted over the same period last year.
The performance is largely attributed to growth in intermediation business and successful outcomes from the revenue diversification initiatives under implementation.
Equity Group Holdings CEO & Managing Director Dr. James Mwangi expressed optimism that the Group’s sustained investments in mobile and agency banking will continue to contribute impressive results for the group.
“Payment systems and money transfer as well as diaspora remittances and operating expenses optimization initiatives will contribute to the positive growth trajectory. We are highly optimistic that the growth momentum will be maintained throughout the year with a number of new products and services set to be launched in the coming months,” said Dr Mwangi.
Customer deposits maintained a positive trajectory and grew by 35 percent to Sh278 billion up from Sh206 billion in March last year.
The Group’s total operating income grew by 19 percent to Sh13.2 billion up from Sh11.1 billion registered in the same period last year. The increase in income was buoyed by significant successes in driving non-funded revenues which grew by 36 percent to reach 42 percent of total operating income.
Other areas of continuing focus will be the SME sector, optimization of delivery channels, merchant acquiring business and payment processing, diaspora banking and remittance processing, regional expansion and further diversification into other financial services products.
Total expenses grew by 24 percent to Sh7.1 billion on the back of investments made in an expanding the IT capacity in 2014. The benefits from the investments are expected to accrue from the strategic initiatives under implementation.
Driven by a rich portfolio of diversified investments, Equity Group Holding’s total assets grew to Sh372.5 billion up from Sh295.3 billion representing a 26 percent growth year on year. Net loans recorded a 25 percent growth from Sh179.3 billion in March 2014 to Sh224.8 billion in March 2015 while maintaining high quality of the loan book.
The Group’s latest innovation Equitel (the fastest growing MVNO), maintained an 81 percent growth to close the trading period with over 650,000 subscribers.
Dr. Mwangi also announced the completion of the purchase of 12.22 percent interest in Equity Group Holdings Limited representing half of Helios’s interest in Equity Group.
“Equity is delighted to welcome Norfund and Norfinance into the anchor shareholding of the Group. This development further strengthens and diversifies Equity Group’s capital base and the Bank is confident that the combination of Norfund’s depth of expertise and experience in the financial services sector will be invaluable contributors to Equity’s growth in the years ahead and in particular the successful execution of the new phase of the Group’s strategic development – Equity 3.0”.