Standard Bank plc says the eight percent decline in profit after-tax to K11.6 billion in the first half (H1) of this year is partly due to an insurance payout in 2020.
The H1 profit declined from K12.6 billion achieved during the corresponding period last year.
Standard Bank plc chief executive officer Phillip Madinga made the explanation in Blantyre yesterday on the sidelines of an investor breakfast.
He said: “With Covid-19, there have been a lot of uncertainties, but our business has been resilient.
“On the back of initiatives we have implemented with regards to technology, we have seen a strong growth in terms of revenues and balance sheet during the year and consequently, we delivered a strong profitability outcome.”
Madinga said the eight percent drop in profit after-tax is partly a result of a K7 billion insurance claim in 2020, which had an impact on the Malawi Stock Exchange-listed bank’s results.
He said despite the vaccine programme presenting some glimmer of hope to the economy, the outlook remains mixed as Malawi’s vaccine rollout is likely to take some time.
Madinga also lamented the depreciation of the kwacha against major trading currencies, saying it is fuelling inflation and widening social and economic inequalities.
During the period under review, the bank’s deposits from customers as well as loans and advances grew by 29 percent and 25 percent to K364.9 billion and K185.3 billion.
However, the bank’s cost to income ratio declined by seven percent to 54 percent from 61 percent.
On her part, the bank’s chief financial officer Temwani Simwaka touted the bank’s investments in technology.
She said the bank is optimistic that the roll-out of Unayo, a technology where users can open a personal or business account as well as upgrade their profiles to add merchant functionality, allowing them to facilitate transactions on behalf of other customers and earn commission, will increase further transactions and lending.