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Unaitas set to open four new branches in growth plan

By - | February 10th 2013

By Jevans Nyabiage

Unaitas Savings and Credit Co-operative Society will open four more branches to increase its footprint to 19 this year in an ambitious expansion plan.

 Currently with 15 branches, the Sacco says this will enable it attract additional deposits to fund its loan book, which stood at Sh3.2 billion last year.

 It plans to spend about Sh200 million for expansion to reach more parts of the country, refurbish existing structures and upgrade its IT facilities.

 Chief Executive Officer Tony Mwangi said the Sacco has carried out feasibility studies on the location for the new outlets and agency banking, and is awaiting approval from the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (Sasra). 

 Mwangi says they want to maintain the growth momentum experienced in the past two years. Last year the Sacco opened three branches—Kasarani in Nairobi, Rongai and Nakuru, increasing member base to 100,000 from about 60,000 a year earlier.

  “We are opening more points for clients to access our services. We are happy that more than 90 per cent of our loans are funded by savings and deposits,” said Mwangi in an interview with The Standard on Sunday. “In the next three years the plan is to be in all major towns in Kenya.”

 This year, he said the Sacco, which rebranded last year from Muramati Sacco, which started as Muranga Tea Growers to adopt a national outlook plans to grow the asset base from Sh4 billion to Sh7 billion and share capital to Sh700 million from Sh400million.

 With the expansion and backed with intensive marketing, the management targets to increase turnover to Sh1.2 billion from about Sh700 million.  “We will depend on our brand, staff, and technology to achieve this. Unaitas has been growing fast,” he said.

Paid dividends

  “By the end of the year we will be able to say what identity we would want to have. If we feel the current identity won’t take us where we want to be, then we will work on that new route,” Mwangi said when asked on whether the Sacco has plans to convert into a bank.

 In the period ended 2011, the Sacco paid out Sh20.97 million in dividends on a share capital of Sh233.08 million, which was nine per cent rate compared to eight per cent in 2010.

 It also paid out interest on deposits at six per cent compared to eight per cent the previous year. The Sacco had total assets of Sh2.8 billion compared to Sh2.09 billion in 2010. It made profit after tax of Sh79.86 million in 2011 compared to Sh13.21 million the previous year, while total income stood at Sh487 million compared to Sh350 million the previous year.

 Last year, the Sacco raised money from the public after the process was regularised to meet Capital Markets Authority requirements. Mwangi said they were looking for Sh200 million in 2010 and Sh100 million was supposed to come from the share promotion where it raised about Sh60 million. In 2012, they closed at about Sh400 million. Other Saccos including Tai Sacco Society, Stima Sacco, Metropolitan Teachers Sacco were also in the market last year for share promotions, seeking additional capital to meet their expansion plans. 

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