Business News of 2014-03-27

Barclays Ghana records GH¢202 million profit in 2013

Barclays Bank ended last year with a profit of GH¢202.5 million, representing a 35 percent increase in earnings for 2013 from GH¢150 million recorded for 2012.
This makes Barclays the second most profitable bank after Standard Chartered Banks' GH¢208 million, according to the financial results released so far by commercial banks in the country.
Speaking at the Bank's Annual General Meeting Luncheon, Managing Director, Patience Akyianu, said the bank will explore digital channels to grow their profits even more for this year.
"We will also focus on some key thematic initiatives to drive the achievements of the bank's short-term plan, in our bid to become the ‘go-to’ bank in Ghana", she revealed.
She adds that their impressive 2013 bottom line is the result of a progressive income growth, and not merely from impairment releases and savings in costs.
She maintained that a renewed focus on business banking and recognizing that the SME sector remains the driving force of Ghana's economy has compelled the bank to be committed to developing excellence in that area.
"This is a central strategic theme for the business. Total income grew by 31.2% in 2013, driven by significant growth in our total loan book and higher yields on Government bills and bonds. This was a result of dedication to growing the business", Patience Akyianu said.
The bank's operating expenses inched up by 22.0% as a result of the general increases in inflation, utility and fuel prices experienced in the year.
Also, the bank's growth in impairment was partly attributed to the growth in loans and advances.
The bank’s balance sheet also grew quite well with total assets growing by 18.6% to end 2013 at GH¢2,343.0 million.
Loans and advances grew significantly by 25% to GH¢993.8 million at the end of 2013.
This was as a result of aggressive strategies embarked on in 2013 targeted at increasing the loan book balance in the face of intense competition.
Customer deposits grew by 9.5% in a competitively challenging environment from GH¢1,454.3 million in 2012 to GH¢1,592.4 million at the end of 2013.
Meanwhile, recent figures released by Guaranty Trust (Ghana) Limited also points a significant growth in its pre-tax profit of GH¢75 million for the financial year 2013 as against GH¢50 million recorded in 2012.
The banks operating income rose to GH¢129 million in 2013 as compared to GH¢106 million in 2012 and profit after tax increased to GH¢53 million by end of 2013 from GH¢39 million recorded in 2012.
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