The interim period of 2022 followed through strongly on concerted efforts from 2021, and saw the Group’s banking operations in Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe all recording profit growth.
Jaco Viljoen, FMBCH Group Managing Director said, “Our Group has generated growth driven by our country operations’ strong performance, all of which recorded increased profits over the 6-month period, despite the macro-economic challenges caused by global events. Our financial position is certainly much stronger, and we achieved this by building on the strength of our strategic positioning across the SADC region, where the economic activity has increased post the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The improvement in profitability is a continuation of the strong momentum from the second half of 2021 and is driven by a combination of expanding corporate banking deal pipelines, as well as improved cost efficiency and scale growth across all five country banking operations, while maintaining credit risk management discipline.
FMBCH recorded growth in its Net Interest Income which was up US$52.1 million compared to US$44.2 million in the previous period. Non-Funded Income rose to US$43.7 million from US$32.5 million in 2021. Total Income grew to US$95.7 million from US$76.7 million in June 2021 whilst operating expenses increased marginally to US$48.5 million from US$46.3 million. Total Assets increased from US$1.22 billion to US$1.29 billion, of which total income earning assets remained steady at 67 percent of total assets. In the meantime, average gross yields have improved from 16.3 percent (June 2021) to 17.3 percent. The Group has made pleasing progress with its retail solutions offerings. Further, deposit liabilities across the Group’s five banking operation countries grew by an aggregate 36 percent to US$ 897 million compared to June 2021 (US$ 658 million). As a result, the Group closed the interim period with a loan to deposit ratio of 70 percent compared to 78 percent in June 2021, signifying productive deposit utilisation. The Group’s cost to income ratio has improved to 51 percent from 60 percent against the same period last year and 58 percent for the 2021 full year. Business level cost management, as well as the benefits of the Mauritius based banking Information Technology and Operations Shared Service Centre (SSC), have assisted in maintaining flat operating costs period on period while total operating income grew by 25 percent.
“The interim performance is reflective of our new mission – Growth is Our Business – in which we continue to put our customers’ needs at the heart of our business. Our personalised services and products have enabled us to solve for our customers, driving our operating performance growth. In the second half of the year, we will continue working on further enhancements in our digital offerings to cater to our customers’ evolving banking needs,” added Viljoen.
The Board of directors has resolved to pay an interim dividend of US$3,687,375 representing 0.15 US cents per share. This is an increase from June 2021, when an interim dividend of USD$1,966,600 representing 0.08 US cents per share was paid to shareholders.