Listed commercial bank, National Bank of Malawi plc, a subsidiary of conglomerate Press Corporation plc Wednesday held its 45th Annual general Meeting (AGM) where it declared a final dividend amounting to K3.8billion making a total of K8.35 billion in respect of 2016 profits.
The bank already paid a first interim dividend of K3.01 billion in September 2016 and a second interim dividend of K.54 billion on March 31, 2017.
Speaking at the AGM, NBM Chairman Dr Matthews Chikaonda who officially retired after the meeting said the operating environment in 2016 was challenging characterized by high inflation and a food output deficit following poor weather conditions.
Chikaonda, who has given the mantle to Dr George Partridge who also replaced him as Grouch Chief Executive Officer at Press Corporation plc, said the country is expected to record a weak Gross Domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 2.5% which he described as ‘a bad situation’ as economists have prescribed a 5% growth if the country is to maintain the current levels of poverty.
“Prices of tobacco, the mainstay of the country’s export sector, were 19% below those of the previous year, resulting in the crop’s export earnings being 18% lower than the previous year. Annual average inflation for 2016 was recorded at 21.7% compared to 21.9% a year before,” said Chikaonda.
He said despite operating in a tough economic environment, the bank posted good results.
“I am pleased to announce a group pre-tax profit of K25.3 billion (2015; K19.6billion) representing a 29% increase on prior year. This is inspite of once off Indebank integration costs totaling K1.76billion incurred in respect of severance pay and impairment of assets that could not be put to alternative use,” said Chikaonda.
He said Indebank continued to incur unplanned overheads due to delays in obtaining certain regulatory approvals which resulted in losses amounting to K400 million.
Chikaonda said he was happy that he is leaving a vibrant bank and added that he has confidence that his successor Dr Partridge will take the bank to greater heights.