Despite a difficult operating environment characterized by high interest and inflation rates which hampered borrowing and consumption, Standard Bank has announced sustaining its healthy profit record.
In 2014, the bank recorded an increase in profit after tax to K12.289 billion, the bank’s annual report released at its Annual General Meeting for shareholders, shows. This high level of profitability has been sustained in recent years.
In the annual report, Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mashanda and Chairman Rex Harawa say despite the Malawi economy recording sustained high interest rates, a volatile exchange rate and double digit inflation averaging 23.7%, the bank’s balance sheet registered strong growth on a year-to-year basis.
“Total assets grew 15% over the same period in prior year emanating from an eight percent (8%) growth in customer deposits. The group delivered profit after tax of MwK12.280 billion in 2014 despite the challenging operating environment; this represents a two percent (2%) growth on 2013, which was at MwK12.289 billion,” reads the joint report signed by CEO and Chairman.
The Executive Management team says the bank’s strategy is to continue focusing on ensuring prudent capital management, superior customer service, and competitive pricing whilst containing costs.
“We also focus on efficiency in our processes and timely execution in our service and product offering,” it says.
The directors have recommended a final dividend of K10.68 per share, subject to shareholders’ approval.
The bank provided a US$ 30 million revolving facility for the importation of fuel, US$20 million funding of the Malawi government’s backed fertilizer deals and also provided US$14 million in agricultural loans.
The Malawi economy remains agro-based with fuel and inputs playing a critical role to its sustainability.
During the year under review, Standard Bank also spent K92.5 million worth of corporate social responsibility projects. The money went towards key CSR areas of health, youth development through football and education.