Ecobank to strengthen dominant position in banking sector

Ecobank pixEcobank Ghana says it is poised to strengthen its position as the profitable and biggest bank in the country.

The Pan African bank is the biggest in Ghana in terms of total assets, revenue, deposits, loans and shareholder funds.

Financial performance

“We have delivered a growth of 45 per cent on total income to close at GH¢857.7 million in 2014 as against GH¢589.6 million recorded in 2013. Profit before tax (after impairment charges of GH¢32 million) stood at GH¢447 million in 2014 representing a 67 per cent increase from 2013,” Mr. Lionel Van Lare Dosoo, Board Chairman of the bank told shareholders at the bank’s annual general meeting held in Accra.

He said the achievement was reflective of the bank’s consistent strategy which boasts of a business model with a strong focus on growing revenue and managing cost in the face of a highly competitive business environment.

The bank’s total income distribution shows 65 per cent net interest income and 35 per cent non-interest income. Net Interest income grew by 43 per cent to GH¢555.7 million on the back of a loan book growth of 27 per cent.

Its non funded income continues to be a key income source of the bank’s businesses and in 2014, the bank’s net fee and commission income saw a growth of 34 per cent, with trading income showing an impressive increase of 74 per cent.

Mr. Dosoo said the bank’s recovery efforts coupled with a successful clean-up of its post-merger inherited loan loss provisions resulted in a 42 per cent decline in impairment charges from last year.

“Consequently, our non-performing loans have seen significant decline to 1.78 per cent from 5.9 per cent in 2013. We have to take risks but balanced with returns by ensuring that we have the right strategies and robust risk management systems in place to monitor and minimise these risks. We will continue to ensure that our risk management framework remains robust and dynamic to ensure strong business support,” he said.

He said “despite inflation of 17 per cent capital investments in our business, we efficiently managed our expenses to end 2014 with a cost to income ratio of 44.2 per cent. Our return on average equity and return on asset ratios currently stand at 47 per cent and 6.1 per cent respectively.”

Balance sheet

Mr. Dosoo said despite a moderate estimated growth of 4.2 per cent, the bank’s balance sheet saw significant growth of 23 per cent to GH¢5.7 billion in 2014 as against GH¢4.7 billion.

Customer deposits grew by 30 per cent to GH¢4.2 billion in 2014 as against GH¢3.2 billion that the bank recorded in 2013.

Total customer loans at year end 2014 stood at GH¢2.7 billion, up 27 per cent from 2013. The loan growth occurred across multiple portfolios including small and medium size enterprises, corporate, trade financing, and consumer lending.

 

Dividend

Shareholders of the bank unanimously approved a dividend of GH¢0.79 per share representing an increase of 83.7 per cent from GH 0.43 in 2013.

By David Adadevoh

 

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