Indebank Limited pre-tax profit has jumped 42 percent to K239 million (about $956 000) in the first half of the year ending June 30 2012 from a pre-tax profit of K168 million (about $672 000) for the corresponding period last year.
In a statement issued jointly by the companyâ€™s chairperson Isaac Nsamala and its managing director William Chatsala, the bank describes the operating environment in the period under review as rather mixed.
“In the first quarter the market was characterised by an acute shortage of foreign currency which negatively affected sectors that are heavily import dependent. The situation improved in the latter part of the second half of the year when the kwacha was devalued by almost 50 percent and the foreign currency market was libaralised. These changes resulted in improved availability of foreign currency and inadvertently caused liquidity shortages in the market and increased cost of funds for commercial banks,” reads the statement in part.
Last week, National Bank of Malawi declared that it has beaten its profit forecast by 16 percentage points to K3.4 billion (about $13.6 m) in the half-year ended June 30 2012 while Standard Bank and FMB released profit warnings in the past few weeks, informing their shareholders that half-year earnings will be higher than the same period last year.
NBS Bank, however, specified that its half year profits are expected to be 15 percent lower than the same period last year largely due to the foreign exchange scarcity and the devaluation of the kwacha.
But the commercial banksâ€™ increase in profits in the period under review is coming at a time when economic growth slowed occasioned by the twin shortage of foreign exchange and fuel.
Going forward, Indebank expects to take advantage of the opportunities that may present themselves as the business environment continues to improve.
The group has also announced plans to open Mangochi Service Centre to bring the total number of service centres to 15.
They also plan to move the Henderson Street Branch to a more spacious building along Victoria Avenue, implement Point of Sale (POS) devices and continue to entrench a culture of service excellence to the bankâ€™s staff.