Equity Group’s profit after tax grew to Kshs. 19.8 billion in the business and financial year ending December 2018, up from Kshs. 18.9 billion in 2017. In that regard, the bank’s loan book grew by 6% to reach Kshs. 297.2 billion, while maintaining a non-performing loan (NPL) ratio of 7.6% against the local sector’s NPL ratio of 12%.
In addition, the Group fortified the asset base by maintaining the cost of risk at 1.2% by increasing loan loss provision by 8% up to Kshs. 3.7 billion. This boosted the NPL coverage to 89% up from 69%. “This is the prudence that was dictated by the difficult operating environment”, said Dr. Mwangi, while releasing the results.
This performance places Equity as the second most profitable lender in the country behind KCB whose profit before tax in 2018 was Kshs. 24 billion.
In view of the current market trends, the lender has invested heavily in fintech innovation and digitization, resulting in operational efficiencies, cost optimization, customer convenience and ease of access as well as use of its financial offering. Shareholders will receive a dividend of Kshs. 2 per share which totals to Kshs. 7.55 billion.