By Duncan Mlanjira
NBS Bank Plc and NBS Forex Bureau have recorded a profit before tax of MK3.7 billion for the six months ended 30th June 2020 and net profit after tax of MK2.8 billion.
The profit before tax is up from MK2.1 billion in the same period in 2019 that had a net profit after tax of MK1.4 billion.
Due to this impressive performance, the Bank’s Board of Directors has recommended the payment of an interim dividend for the half year ended 30th June 2020 of MK1.3 billion, representing 45 tambala per share and this will be paid in accordance with the company’s articles of association.
According to its financial report, NBS Bank and NBS Forex Bureau have registered a growth of 102% in profit after tax compared to prior period results.
“This is a very impressive performance in the first half of 2020 when compared to the same period of the previous year despite the current COVID-19 pandemic challenges,” said the report.
“This performance trend is a confirmation that the Bank’s transformation journey continues to be on track and is on a sustainable path.”
The growth builds on the MK4.5 billion reported for the 2019 full year and the financials say net interest grew by 55% in 2020 compared to a similar period in 2019, largely as a result of growth of the loan book and effective management of investments in money market instruments.
“There was a marginal growth in Non-Interest Income of 4%,” continues the financials. “The Bank continues to build capability of digital offerings particularly mobile, internet and agency banking.
“Future growth is therefore expected to also come from transactions business. Operating expenses went up by 17% because of planned investments in systems and increase in revenue generating transactional expenses and some once off operational expenses.
“The Bank continues to implement cost optimization measures to further improve its efficiency ratios.”
The report further says NBS Bank and NBS Forex Bureau registered a 22% growth in customer deposits year on year to June 2020 and that loans and advances grew by 22% while Money Market investments grew by 49% year on year.
“The improvement of our performance in the first half of 2020 amidst the current environmental challenges is due to flexibility and dynamism in strategy implementation which has enabled the bank to focus on high revenue generating activities.”
The Bank says outlook for the second half 2020 is anticipated to be challenging because the COVID-19 pandemic will further negatively affect the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for 2020.
“The current GDP growth forecast was already reduced from 4% to 1% owing to the expected impact of the pandemic.
“Inflation is expected to drop further from the current 9%, with a major pull down effect coming from food inflation.
“Notwithstanding, downside risks to inflation include weakening of demand due to effects of the pandemic on the economy. The Kwacha is expected to be stable against the US Dollar averaging at MK741 per USD.”
The Bank concludes its financials by saying it will continue to monitor any significant developments and changes in the monetary policy to make sure it mitigates risks on performance.
“The Bank continues to be resilient in its performance and is positive that its turnaround journey continues in full force despite the current environmental challenges and prospects a good 2020 result and beyond,” says the statement.
The financials were signed by the Bank’s chairman Vizenge Kumwenda, Director Matthews Mtumbuka, Chief Executive Officer Kwanele Ngwenya and Chief Finance Officer Vera Zulu.
The Bank was voted 2019 and 2020 Best Bank in Malawi by EuroMoney Awards for Excellence and 2019 Bank of the Year Malawi by the Banker Awards.