Ecobank Ghana says it is has taken concrete steps to reduce its non-performing loans which shot up last year partly due to the difficult macro-economic environment.
The bank’s nonperforming loans which went up significantly in 2015, still continues to be a challenge for the bank.
Its 2016 first quarter results released last week showed that impartment charges on loans and advances shoot up from 3.3 million cedis for the first quarter in 2015 to almost 18 million cedis for first quarter of 2016.
Addressing shareholders at the bank’s annual general meeting to account to shareholders on the performance of the bank, Mr. Morgan Asiedu, Acting Managing Director, said the management was very optimistic of reversing the trend by the middle of this year.
“We are hopeful that by the end of the second quarter, impairment charges should reduce significantly,” he said.
He said apart from the issue of the increase in impairment charges the bank’s performance during the period under review was very good despite the difficult macro-economic environment last year.
Ecobank’s profit before tax last year increased by 3 per cent to GH¢459 million in 2015.
It ended the year with a post tax profit of GH¢321 million. Basic earnings per share was GH¢1.10 compared to GH¢1.09 last year.
The bank’s total assets grew to GH¢6.7 billion from GH¢5.8 billion, representing 16 per cent increase.
Total customer deposits grew to GH¢4.8 billion, an increase of 14 per cent, reflecting increased customer business.
Total equity stood at GH¢890 million, up 11 per cent from the previous year.
Mr. Asiedu attributed the bank’s sterling performance to the various business segments, namely corporate domestic and treasury contributed to this sterling performance for last year.
At the end of the year “corporate bank’s revenue was 378 million up 40 per cent from a year ago”.
Domestic banking reported revenue, of 420 million up by 10 per cent, while treasury reported 226 million after an 8 per cent jump.
On the back of the 2015 performance, the bank proposed a dividend of GH¢0.84 per share, up from GH¢0.79 paid in 2014.
Board Chairman of the bank, Terence Darko noted that, last year marked its 25 years as a bank in the country.
“Our journey has been an exciting one decorated with significant milestone.” He added that “I believe our best days are ahead,” he said.
He said the bank would continue to develop products and services to delight customers.
By David Adadevoh