14 November 2012

Kenya: Equity Bank in $137.6m Profit

Nairobi — Kenya's Equity Bank Group braved a tough third quarter to register a $137.6 million profit translating to a 30% rise from the same period last year. Last year the group registered a $116.4 million profit before tax.

The management attributed the rise in profitability to recovery from funding costs even as the group's subsidiaries in the region start paying back.

Equity Bank had engaged in an expansion programme across the east African region that saw it set foot in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and even South Sudan.

The subsidiaries in these regional countries alongside the insurance and investment banking business raked in some $44.1 million translation to 14 per cent of the total profit revenue.

Equity Bank is currently the leading banking institution in Kenya in terms of customer numbers.

The bank has largely identified with the middle to low end of the market stealing the thunder from established players in the sector.

Equity Bank Group Chief Executive, James Mwangi, said the bank will continue with its strategy of targeting volumes in terms of accounts which ensure low management costs and which has worked for it over the years.

"We will continue innovating products and services that resonate with our target market. This has worked well for us and we will work towards making it even better," said Mr. Mwangi who has won accolades both locally and internationally as played a major role in Kenya's financial inclusion.

Mwangi said the fact that the bank had braved the hostile high interest regime to post such results was enough testimony that it was at the pulse of the needs of most Kenyans.

The results further revealed that total income grew by 30% to $308.2 million from $240 million posted over the same period the previous year. Equity Bank was founded as Equity Building Society (EBS) in October 1984.

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