Equity Bank Group had a 2021 to remember as profit after tax rose 99% to hit Ksh40.1 billion from Ksh20.1 billion the previous year, the bank’s Full Year results released on Tuesday, March 22 reveal.
The reported results continue the trend of local banks reporting strong 2021 results. Institutions including KCB, Co-operative Bank and Absa Kenya have all posted historic profit increases in their most-recent full year statements, driven by lower credit impairment provisions and costs as recovery from Covid-19 was accelerated.
Equity Bank saw net interest income rise 25 percent to Ksh68.8 billion while non-interest income also increased to Ksh44.6 billion, up 16% from the previous year. Total operating income increased by 21% to reach Ksh113.4 billion.
Non-Performing Loans improved from 11% to 8.3%.
“Against the backdrop of uncertainty, the Group focused on supporting customers and in the process increased and accelerated loan disbursements and growth by over 29% and 23% for the two years respectively while the economy was plummeting to a GDP growth rate of negative 0.1% from a high of 5.8%. Equity was committed to save the businesses of its customers while maintaining livelihoods,” CEO Dr. James Mwangi stated.
The group recommended a dividend pay-out of Ksh3 per share totalling Ksh11.3 billion. It represents a 50% jump from previous dividend pay-out.
Earnings per share grew by 98% to Kshs10.40 up from Ksh5.20 the previous year.
The group noted that it made social investments amounting to Ksh5.8 billion in response to the impact of Covid-19.
“When Covid-19 struck, Equity Bank Group sought its true north, its purpose and commitment to support its members. The Board and Members decided to focus on saving lives and livelihoods, giving dignity, and expanding opportunities for wealth creation while keeping the lights of economies on,” Mwangi stated.
Total assets grew by 29% to Ksh1.305 trillion up from Ksh1.015 trillion, driven by a corresponding 29% growth in customer deposits which rose to Ksh959 billion up from Ksh740.8 billion.