, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 6 – Equity Bank has announced a 14 percent increase in its profit after tax in the third quarter of 2012 to Sh8.3 billion from Sh7.29 billion in the same period last year.
The bank’s group managing director James Mwangi attributed the increase to growth in the loan net book by 20 percent to Sh131.37 billion from Sh109 billion.
Profit before tax grew by 30 percent to Sh11.79 billion from Sh9.09 billion in the same period last year.
“The bank’s capping its lending rates to a maximum of 25 percent, while the average banking industry lending rates were above 30 percent, helped to grow the net loan book by 20 percent. As a result interest income grew by 67 percent to Sh22.6 billion,” said Mwangi during an investor briefing in Nairobi.
Total assets posted a 19 percent growth during the period to Sh232 billion up from Sh195 billion in the same period last year.
The bank’s operating capital grew by 24 percent to 39.2 billion up from Sh31.76 billion.
The number of depositors grew by 1.1million to 7.8 million customers.
However operating expenses increased by 30 percent to 14.9 due to investments projects including expenses in information technology and opening of new branches in the region.
The management is now focused on developing innovative ways to optimise operational efficiency while providing the required services.
“When we go deeper in the operating expenses, we will for example outsource important transactional banking functions to agents to allow for substantial expansion of the business while maintaining costs under control,” Mwangi said.
As future plans the low and medium market bank now plans to introduce products that suit the upper market to keep its customers.
“We have seen our customers grow to the top level of the market and we would not want to lose them. I know we have continued to face completion in this area but we are determined to retain our customers,” he said.