, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 6 – The National Bank of Kenya (NBK) has announced a 5 percent increase in its half year pre-tax profit ending June 30, 2013 to Sh953.3 million compared to Sh911.8 million in the same period last year.
The bank’s Managing Director Munir Ahmed attributed the positive performance to the ongoing transformation program and improved lending.
The loans and advances grew from Sh26.8 billion to Sh27.5 billion, while the net income interest rose by 12 percent from Sh2.5billion to Sh2.8 billion.
“The changes we are undertaking in the business are beginning to bear fruit. We expect to see sustained growth as we progress the transformation of the bank,” Ahmed explained.
The bank was targeting to grow its loan book steadily, driven mainly by lending to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Mortgage and corporate sectors.
“The potential lending especially in the SME sector is strong. In addition, we want to minimize our exposure to only a few large corporate customers,” he added.
Total operating expenses remained flat at Sh2.95 billion in the period under review.
National Bank rebranded in May this year, unveiling a new five year corporate strategy aimed at growing the institution’s assets, customer numbers, profitability, risk management, boosting revenue and shareholder value.
The strategy entails opening 30 new branches by 2017, ten of which will be opened before the end of this year as it eyes opportunities in the regional market especially Somalia and Sudan.
The bank plans to raise Sh10 billion additional capital through a rights issue targeting to facilitate the revival process.
Despite the slight improvement, the board has not recommended any interim dividend for its shareholders.