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ABSA posts a 24pc increase in its 1Q21 Profit after tax to hit Sh2.4bn

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 21 -Absa Bank Kenya PLC has today reported a 24% increase in profit after tax to Kshs. 2.4 billion for the period ending 31 March 2021, compared to a similar period last year.

According to the bank, the performance was mainly driven by growth in interest income particularly in the small and medium enterprises segment as the bank continued to support businesses to recover from the impact of COVID-19.

Despite the raging effects of the pandemic, all business units remained profitable and resilient, registering growth on key lines with all businesses registering growth year-on-year.

“In confronting the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been greatly inspired by the ingenuity and undying determination espoused by our fellow Kenyans to rise above the storm and keep going. In the period under review, we grew our business with some exciting propositions including the Absa She Business Account through which we have committed to impact over 1 million women owned and led businesses over the next 5 years. 

“This account is tailormade for the needs of the woman entrepreneur and offers access to affordable finance, access to mentorship and coaching, access to information and training, as well as access to trade opportunities within the local and international markets. One of the outstanding offerings under this proposition is that women businesses will access unsecured lending of up to Kes 10 million, payable for 5 years for existing borrowers, and Kes 7 million for new borrowers payable in 4 years and a grace period of 60 days to be granted on a case by case basis,” said Jeremy Awori, Managing Director, Absa Bank Kenya. 

Total income grew by 2% to Kshs 8.8 billion mainly driven by the growth of interest income, which was up 6% year on year on the back of increased lending. Well managed costs were well maintained, dropping by 1% year on year. 

Net Customer loans was up 8% to close at Kshs.218 billion driven by key focus products namely General lending, trade loans, mortgage and scheme loans that recorded strong growth year on year. 

Interest income grew 6% from prior year largely because of growth in the lending book; though partially offset by margin compression as a result of drops in Central Bank Rate (CBR) whose benefits the bank passed to customers as a responsible lender.

Customer deposits grew by 8% to Kshs.257 billion with transactional accounts making up 66% of the total deposits.

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During the period under review, the bank’s costs were well managed at Kshs 4.0 billion reflecting a 1% reduction year on year largely because of spend discipline and cost saves initiatives. The cost saves initiatives included automation of the processing centre and continued migration of customer transactions to alternative channels. The savings derived were used to fund sustainable investments especially in automation and digitization. The firm’s efficiency ratio for the first quarter of 2021 improved to 46%.

Meanwhile, impairment increased by 25% compared to similar period reflecting tough macroeconomic environment for our business and our customers. The Bank’s average loan loss ratio increased to 2.6% (2.2% in March 2020).

Absa Bank Kenya Plc capital and liquidity ratios remain strong with sufficient headroom above the regulatory requirement; The Bank capital adequacy ratio is at 17.0% and liquidity reserve position at 38.3% against the regulatory limits of 14.5% and 20% respectively.

“We have been working alongside our clients in preparation for a world beyond the pandemic and a more stable economic environment. Our businesses remain well positioned to help our clients reposition for the anticipated economic recovery going into the second half of 2021, ” the bank said.

” Our capital and liquidity levels are solid to navigate the coming quarters and we see opportunities for growth in our balance sheet with recovery in revenue growth and profits expected in 2021. “


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