, NAIROBI, Kenya, July 29- Equity Bank has announced a 17 percent increase in its half year profit after tax ending June 2013 to Sh6.3 billion from Sh5.4 billion in same period last year.
Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi attributed the performance to growth in the loan book by Sh11 billion from Sh139 billion in the last period to Sh150 billion.
The banks total assets grew by 19 percent during the period to close at Sh261 billion from Sh219 billion last year.
Long term borrowings increased by 13 percent to Sh25.6 billion up from Sh22.7 billion on the back of an enhanced global rating for the bank.
“The bank benefited from an improved economic environment and plans to continue focusing on innovation and technology, new market segments, consolidation of regional businesses and growing the networks and channels to sustain growth in the second half of the year,” Mwangi noted.
However total operating expense went up to Sh11.4 billion from Sh10 billion first half of last year.
This was highly driven by staff costs which hit Sh4.4 billion from Sh3.8 billion.
Despite the improved performance in the last six months, the bank has been on sharp focus recently over a hitch that led to all its ATM machines transactions being paralysed countrywide for almost a week.
“These are problem we never expected and we really apologize for all the inconveniences. We are still upgrading the machines and we will do our best to avoid such incidences,” he said.
“The bank’s strategic initiatives of payments solutions such as the Visa Personal Payments, PayPal withdrawal service, MasterCard World Wide recently introduced Mobile Point of Sales (MPOS) technology and PayPass enabled debit and prepaid cards as well as BebaPay cards, to facilitate commuter payments in partnership with Google,” Mwangi added.