Standard Chartered Bank Ghana is pursuing a recovery and restructuring strategy to improve growth and profitability of the bank, the Managing Director, Kweku Bedu-Addo, has said.
The bank which had challenges last year due to its over exposure to the manufacturing, commerce and agriculture sectors, for the first half of this year recorded profit before tax of GHS 203 million.
This represents an increase of 83 per cent of the GHȻ111 million recorded in the same period last year.
Speaking at an audio conference for investors in Accra yesterday to announce the bank’s 2016 half year results, Mr. Bedu-Addo said the bank’s operating income increased by 18 per cent to GHȻ 297 million compared to GHȻ 252 million recorded in June last year.
“Operating expenses decreased by 26 per cent to GHȻ 77 million compared to June 2015 position of GHȻ 104 million resulting from prudent and efficient cost management,” he said.
Mr. Bedu-Addo said impairment charges decreased by 55 per cent to GHȻ16 million compared to the same period in as the bank continues to restructure and recover impaired assets.
“We continue to pursue a recovery and restructuring of impaired assets, while maintaining the right financial framework to manage capital, liquidity and costs,” he said.
He said the focus of management for the rest of the year was to continue to execute and deliver on its strategic priorities as well as to invest in the bank.
“We are cautious about our growth approach this year, Mr Bedu-Addo, who is also responsible for West Africa, said adding that “we are not pursuing aggressive asset growth this year”.
Touching on the profit outlook of the bank for the second half of the year, Mr Bedu-Addo said it was difficult to predict considering the high interest and inflation rate as well as the government consolidation programme, but was hopeful the bank would continue on the profitability track.
The Acting Chief Financial Officer, Kweku Nimfah-Essuman in his remark said the balance sheet of the bank would be continuously managed to ensure income growth momentum, cost efficiency, strong capital and liquidity base.
The Managing Director of the Ghana Stock Exchange, Mr Kofi Yamoah in his remarks said he was excited the bank was being cautious about growing its assets.
He said it was also encouraging that the bank had strong balance sheet and enough capital to meet its financial obligations.
By Kingsley Asare