KENYA – Equity Group has posted a KSh24.4 billion (US$204.01m) half-year net profit, a 36 per cent jump from KSh17.9 billion (US$149.67m) posted in the same period last year on account of higher income.

During the first half of 2022, net interest income grew by 28 per cent to KSh39.8 billion (US$332.78m) up from KSh31.2billion (US$260.87m) recorded in the same period last year.

The group’s loan book grew by 29 per cent to KSh650.6 billion (US$5.44m) up from KSh504.8 billion (US$4.22m) while their investment in government securities edged up 16 per cent.

“The differentiated strategy adopted by management to support borrowers cope with the difficulties of Covid-19 disruptions has seen most of the businesses survive and recover,” said James Mwangi, Equity MD & CEO

Total assets grew by 19 per cent to KSh1.33 trillion (US$11.12bn) from KSh1.1 trillion (US$9.20bn) recorded in the first half of 2021.

Equity cash and liquidity management solution EazzyBiz grew by 51 per cent from 2.2 million transactions to 3.3 million transactions with value growing by 52 per cent from KSh637 billion (US$5.33m) to KSh966.7 billion (US$8.08b).

The bank which has maintained its culture of being customer-centric, focusing more on the needs of its customers noted this as the highlights of its half-year report.

“The most significant reporting was the support Equity is giving its customers through loans and advances so that they can recover and continue to grow now that Covid is visibly becoming business as usual,” stated Mwangi.

Equity bank balance sheet expanded by 19 per cent reaching KSh1.33 trillion (US$11.12bn), being the largest one the company has seen in terms of assets in the entire region, accelerated by the growth the group is facing in Kenya and regionally as well.

The Group’s Non-Performing Loans (NPL) shrunk to 8.5 per cent from 10.7 percent the previous year, compared to the country’s banking industry NPL ratio which stood at 14.7 per cent as of July 30 2022.

Digitization has seen the digital banking transactions through mobile and internet channels, agency and merchant infrastructure shoot to 663.9 million transactions from 607.5 million in the previous period.

Legacy banking transactions which include ATM and branch transactions dropped to 19.2 million from 19.6 million transactions in H1 2021, as 99 per cent of the bank’s transactions has shifted to online platforms.

Additionally, the value of digital transactions grew to KSh4.424 trillion (US$36.99bn) during the review period from KSh2.575 trillion (US$21.53bn) in the previous period.

With the Group’s DRC branch having a balance sheet of over KSh400 billion (US$3.34bn), the MD has stated that it is one to watch as he exudes the confidence of it clinching position one in the Democratic Republic of Congo from position 2 than it has been ranked previously.

“It is contributing 20 per cent of the entire profit of the group. As we take more and more Kenyans to the region (DRC), the country itself will benefit and our sales will also be able to benefit,” said Mwangi.

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