By James Anyanzwa
Co-operative Bank Group has announced a 21 per cent growth in pre-tax profit during the six months period ended June 30.
The Group’s profit before tax rose to Sh5.01 billion from Sh4.14 billion in a similar period last year helped by a significant expansion in transaction-based income.
The Bank’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Gideon Muriuki also attributed the improved profitability to an aggressive cost rationalisation.
“ We continued with our strategy of managing costs focusing mainly on staff rationalisation which saw the redeployment of staff to the newly opened branches,” said Muriuki, adding that the management is consistently monitoring and reviewing other expenditures to ensure there are no cost ‘overruns’.
Group’s unaudited financial statements released yesterday, show non-funded income grew 19.5 per cent to Sh4.04 billion from Sh3.38 billion, with net interest income advancing 24.8 per cent to Sh7.44 billion from Sh5.96 billion in a similar period.
Muriuki said Co-operative Bank in Southern Sudan is now a reality after the signing of a joint venture agreement with the Government of Southern Sudan on the basis of 51:49 shareholding structures.
“ We expect to open the first branch very soon,” he said.
Muriuki explained that the growth in non-interest income was mainly boosted by growth in fees and commissions accruing from burgeoning transactions on Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), agency banking, personal and business banking, mobile banking, forex transactions and letters of credit.
During the period under review, total customer deposits increased 11.5 per cent to Sh145.7 billion from Sh130.7 billion supported by an expanded clientele base, which rose 49 per cent to 2.9 million customers from 1.95 million customers in June last year.
Net loan book swelled 18 per cent to Sh112.6 billion from Sh95.1 billion while total assets increased eight per cent to Sh177.7 billion from Sh164.8 billion.
Shareholders’ funds grew 30 per cent to Sh26 billion from Sh20 billion. “ The bank has sustained tremendous growth over the years and we will continue to grow and expand in line with our strategic plans,” said Muriuki.
He said Co-operative Bank continued offering a universal banking model with a wide range of services including cooperatives banking, corporate and commercial banking, Treasury, SME banking, micro credit, mortgage, asset financing and bancassurance.