NMBZ Holdings, NMB Bank’s holding company, recorded a profit before tax of $74,5 million for the half-year ended June 30, 2019, resulting in total comprehensive income of $61,4 million.
This compares with a before tax profit of $11, 8 million and total comprehensive income of $9,1 million in the same period last year.
The group’s basic earnings per share was $14,6 cents compared to $2,34 cents per share for the half-year ended June 30, 2018.
Briefing analysts last Wednesday on the group’s half-year results, NMBZ chief executive, Mr Ben Washaya, said the basic earnings were largely driven by continued expansion into the broader market segments, revision of lending rates and charges, reduction in non-performing loans, cost containment measures, functional currency changes and fair value gains from investment properties.
He said NMB Bank had continued to open more NMBLite accounts, as its contribution to the financial inclusion agenda. It had intensified the roll-out of POS devices to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and sole traders. The take-up, he said, continued to be encouraging.
Mr Washaya said the bank’s non-performing loans ratio had come down from 7,43 percent at the end of 2018 to 3,38 percent as at June 30 this year and attributed this reduction to aggressive collections and stricter credit underwriting standards.
“The management of NPLs continues to be a focus area in light of the deteriorating operating environment and the increasing borrowing interest rates,” he said.
Mr Washaya revealed that the bank was developing a branch in Victoria Falls for the benefit of residents and tourists, which should be open for business on Monday next week.
He said construction of NMB’s new head office should be completed in the last quarter of the year.
Mr Washaya said NMB owed US$14 million in legacy debts to various line of credit providers. It had transferred the Zimbabwe dollar equivalent of these debts to the Reserve Bank.
The affected credit providers had confirmed they were agreeable to the legacy debt arrangements with the Reserve Bank, said the bank.
Summarising the half-year results, NMB chief finance officer, Mr Benson Ndachena, said total deposits as at June 30 amounted to $480,3 million, a 10 percent increase since the end of December 2018, when deposits stood at $434,9 million.
The group’s total assets increased from $527,1 million at the end of December 2018 to $691,6 million as at June 30 this year.
Meanwhile, operating income amounted to $97,4 million in the first six months of the year compared to $29,9 million at the end of June 2018.
Operating expenses amounted to $23,9 million, up 42 percent from the $16,8 million recorded in the same period last year.