Standard Bank plc has reported a 56 percent increase in profit after-tax to K12.75 billion in the first six months ending June 30 2020, the bank’s financial results show.
The Malawi Stock Exchange-listed bank’s shareholders will share K2.5 billion in dividends or K10.65 per share, up from K2.1 billion or K8.95 per share in 2019, an increase of 19 percent.
The bank’s financial performance seems to defy the difficulties that have befallen global and local economies in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Standard Bank, however, acknowledges the lingering challenge posed by the virus and the country’s inherent political instability in two years of elections.
“The group registered good performance notwithstanding a challenging operating environment characterised by unstable political environment and Covid-19 pandemic,” reads the statement co-signed by the bank’s chairperson Ngeyi Kanyongolo and chief executive William le Roux.
Overall, Covid-19 has decimated economic activity in Malawi as most formal economic activity faced reduction and about 273 000 jobs were lost in the past six months, according to the Employers Consultative Association of Malawi.
On the other hand, economic policy remains under the radar of analysts as they monitor how the new government will stir things going forward.
The bank’s figures show that its assets grew by eight percent compared to the same period in 2019. The asset growth was a result of a five percent annual growth of the customer and funding base.
“Growth of customer and funding base corresponded with increased loan and advances by 22 percent. Likewise, financial investments also grew by 22 percent year-on-year,” reads the report in part.
The bank said the low interest rate environment prevailed in the first half and resulted in a modest two percent growth in net interest income despite sizeable growth of interest earning assets.
On the other hand, non-interest revenue grew by 17 percent year-on-year, arising from the bank’s focus on growing the transactional business as well as one off gain on disposal of securities.