NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 27 – The Cooperative Bank Group has recorded a 57.4 percent rise in profit before tax to Sh2.04 billion for the first quarter ended March 31, 2011.
The result was largely attributed to a significant growth in subsidiaries such as Kingdom Securities Limited and Co-op Trust Investment Services Limited whose performance was impressive.
The brokerage firm for instance reported a 334.8 percent rise in pre-tax profit to Sh13.48 million compared to Sh3.1 million registered in the corresponding period last year.
"Co-op Trust Investment Services Limited increased its funds under management to Sh33 billion and made a profit before tax of Sh26.6 million compared to Sh13.9 million in 2010," said the group\’s Managing Director Gideon Muriuki in a statement.
Strategic focus on sustained growth further saw the bank grow the total customer deposits from Sh100 billion in March 2010 to Sh136 billion on account of increased customer base to over 1.8 million account holders.
Supported by diversified product lines, the loan portfolio also went up by 41 percent to Sh91.5 billion while net interest income grew from Sh1.95 billion to Sh2.85 billion.
"Total assets increased by a significant 39 percent to Sh169.5 billion compared to Sh121.7 billion registered in the same period in 2010," Mr Muriuki said.
The institution which became a fully fledged commercial bank in 1994 has come a long way from its loss making streak in the 1990s to an institution posting billions in profit.
Besides increasing its customer numbers, it has embarked on branch expansion with the current outlets which are strategically placed now standing at 88.
It has also leveraged on the seven-million-member cooperative movement through which it has been able to market its products. It has not been left behind in deploying innovative technological products such as mobile banking to widen its reach and offer cost-efficient services to its customers.
In October last year, the bank raised its stake in Co-operative Insurance Company (CIC) from two percent to 21 percent indicating its intention to strategically position itself to capture more market share in the highly competitive banking industry.
To further reinforce its position not only locally but regionally, Co-op Bank has been plotting an entry into Southern Sudan through a strategic joint venture and those plans are said to be at an advanced stage.