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Barclays Kenya profit up 13 pct

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 17 – Barclays Bank Kenya has announced a Sh6.8 billion after tax profit for 2008 compared to Sh4.9 billion posted the previous year.

Barclays Bank Managing Director Adan Mohammed said pre tax profit increased by 13 percent to Sh8.016 billion compared to Sh7.09 billion in 2007, while income rose by 25 percent to Sh23 billion.

Mr Mohammed attributed the improved performance to consumer business expansion programs that began in 2007 and their ongoing branch network expansion.
“Between 2002 and 2005 the increase in our top line has been between five and six percent year on year and this is what the growth plan that we embarked on in 2007 has done,” Mr Mohammed said.

“It is a similar level of growth in the previous year and given the revenues at just under Sh24 billion of income to achieve these levels of growth, we are very pleased as a board.”

By the end of 2008, the bank had more than doubled its distribution points to 117 branches and increased its ATM network to 234 which saw the bank’s operational costs for the year increase to Sh14.329 billion from Sh11.09 billion.

The bank’s Board of Directors has approved a final dividend of Sh1.50, bringing the total dividend payout to Sh2 per share for the year.

Mr Mohammed predicted a challenging year for the bank given the current drought situation and the global financial crisis to which no country is immune.

“However, Barclays Kenya is well capitalized and profitable, which will allow us to mitigate the effects of the economic downturn,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mr Mohammed reassured that despite an increase in loan default cases only 1.3 percent of the bank’s portfolio had been affected.

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“The major thing to remember is that our loans are to employed clients and we get the employers to pay us and not the individuals,” he said

Last week, Equity Bank reported a 107 percent rise in annual after tax profit from Sh1.89 billion to Sh3.89 billion.

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