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Equity Profits Decline by 14% Due to Coronavirus Effects

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Equity Centre, Nairobi. (28th May 2020) –  Equity posted a 14 percent decline in profits in its first quarter of the year.

The results released Equity Group Holdings Plc indicated that the profits declined from Kshs. 6.2 billion to 5.3 billion for the same period last year.

 Profit before provisions was up by 10% to Kshs.10 billion from Kshs. 9.1 billion the previous year. However, the Group increased its loan loss provision tenfold to Kshs. 3 billion from Kshs. 300 million the previous year leading to a decline of profit after tax by 14%.

While releasing the results Dr. James Mwangi, Group Managing Director and CEO said, “The global COVID-19 pandemic has mutated into a global economic crisis, occasioned by a sudden standstill of economic activity as a result of the global lockdown.

This has introduced unprecedented uncertainty within the global financial systems prompting us to adopt a conservative approach – fortifying our balance sheet and assuring ample liquidity to support our customers.”

 The Group continued to enjoy robust growth with total assets registering a 14% year on year growth to Kshs. 693.2 billion from Kshs. 605.7 billion driven by a 17% growth in customer deposits to Kshs. 499.3 billion from Kshs. 428.5 billion.

Net interest income grew by 11% on the back of a 24% year on year growth on loan books to Kshs. 379.2 billion up from Kshs. 305.5 billion, which reflected strain with the non-performing loan book growing to 10.9% up from 9.1% the previous year. Aggressive provisions saw the cost of risk rising to 3.24% up from 0.37%.

The Group’s total income grew by 13% to Kshs. 19.7 billion up from Kshs. 17.5 billion for the same period last year. Non-funded income grew by 16% outpacing the 11% growth on net interest income thereby increasing its contribution to 42% of the Group’s total income. Forex trading income grew by 34% to Kshs. 1.1 billion up from Kshs. 815 million with 26.5% of the volume traded contributed by diaspora flows.

Diaspora remittances commissions grew by 22% to Kshs. 234 million up from Kshs. 192 million the previous year with the volume of diaspora remittances growing by 31% to reach Kshs. 40.6 billion up from Kshs. 30.9 billion the previous year.

Merchant banking commission grew by 11% to Kshs. 582 million up from Kshs. 523 million the previous year with Merchant banking volume reaching Kshs. 29 billion up from Kshs. 25.6 billion.

The Group continues to register impressive progress in transforming itself from the place you go to something you do on devices.

The brick and mortar infrastructure of branches and ATMs processed only 6% of the Group’s banking transactions, while mobile and internet banking processed 79% of all transactions, with agents and merchants processing 15% of transactions making the Group an increasingly virtual digital financial service provider.

The Group’s regional and diversification subsidiaries continued to register impressive results with a return on equity of 18.7% against the Kenyan banking subsidiary return on equity of 21.6%.

The subsidiaries increased their total revenue contribution to the Group’s revenue to 30% up from 28% the previous year, while raising their contribution of profit before tax to 26% of the Group’s profit up from 17%.

The Group stands well positioned to confront the challenges of the COVID-19 disruption that is mutating into an economic, financial and humanitarian crisis.

The Group’s business model of high-volume low margins with nonfunded income contributing 42% of total income and a low cost of funding of 2.8%, allows the Group to ride a compression of margin in interest-earning assets.

A well-diversified and distributed portfolio of Equity’s loan book across sectors of the economy and segments of clients helps to mitigate loan quality shocks.

A strong Group liquidity position of 51.6% and strong total capital to risk-weighted asset buffer of 19.5% against a low loan to total assets ratio of 55% places the Group in a strong position to adequately handle the economic and financial challenges of the COVID-19 global health pandemic.

This position is further enhanced by an agile liquid balance sheet with cash and cash equivalents of 38% of total assets and long-term funding of shareholders’ funds and long-term debts constituting 23% of the total assets, places the Group in a strong strategic position to respond to and adeptly handle challenges associated with a rapidly changing and uncertain environment.

In addition, Equity Group Holdings Board has taken a conservative approach that recognizes the emerging unquantified risk of the pandemic and opted to preserve capital in the face of the prevailing uncertainty.

As a result, the Board of Directors has withdrawn its recommendation of a Kshs. 9.5 billion dividends payout to its shareholders for the 2019 financial year.

“A strong capital and liquidity position gives us the strength and capacity to cushion our business against external shocks and accommodate and walk with our customers during these challenging times,” said Dr. James Mwangi.

He added that Equity has restructured customers’ loans of up to Kshs. 92 billion for up to three years as an economic relief effort to the COVID-19 crisis.

“We will walk with our clients through this crisis and will give every client a chance to turn the crisis into an opportunity to thrive. Equity Group will deploy its capital strength, balance sheet agility and liquidity to support a long-term view,” said Dr. Mwangi.

The Group continues to make social and impact investments to support society and build brand love under a shared prosperity business model.

To date, the Group together with its development partners have invested US $433 million in education scholarships, agriculture transformation, health, energy, leadership development and business services along with capacity development for micro, small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs.

“A strong corporate brand, an agile liquid balance sheet, a well segmented and diversified asset portfolio and a well-balanced risk management policy places the Group strongly to weather market challenges, support our customers not only to survive but to recover and thrive, emerging from this crisis stronger,” said Dr. Mwangi as he released the first quarter of 2020 financial performance results.

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With no tourists to watch migration, Kenyan operator’s planes are grounded

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Safari operator Safarilink, June is the busiest time of year, as the company’s small planes ferry tourists to national parks in Kenya and Tanzania to witness the majestic annual migration of 2 million animals.

This year the coronavirus outbreak has brought those adventures in Kenya’s Maasai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti to a halt.

Like other African airlines, Safarilink Aviation grounded its planes in March after The government announced closure of its borders and stopped air travel, part of efforts to curb the spread of the disease.

 

 

“During this period, we carry, just going to the Mara, about 10,000 passengers per month,” said Alex Avedi, Safarilink Aviation’s CEO. “As you can see all the aircraft are parked, there is no one going to see this magnificent spectacle.”

Safari lovers typically flock to the region hoping to witness hundreds of thousands of wildebeest that run the gauntlet of hungry crocodiles as they cross the Mara river in search of greener pastures on the Kenya-Tanzania border.

Across Africa, wildlife reserves and parks have closed their gates as tourists stay home, hitting the continent’s multi-billion-dollar tourist industry and leading to job cuts and loss of income for thousands.

 

 

“There is a whole community around those conservancies that are definitely impacted and effected by (there being) no visitors. All the people who provide groceries, food, the guides, housekeeping, the barmen, its very unfortunate,” Avedi told Reuters.

Many lodges outside Nairobi have been forced to close.

However, in the heart of Nairobi’s National Park, one campsite run by safari company Gamewatchers reopened on June 12. The camp adheres to strict health guidelines, testing its staff for COVID-19 and checking visitors’ temperature.

“The feeling that today we have opened up even with the conditions is great,” said Joseph Lelenguya, the manager of Nairobi Tented Camp.

Most of its visitors at the moment are people who live in Nairobi, like Pierre Chaumont, who moved to Kenya from France seven years ago.

“We saw lions this morning, buffalo, wild ostrich,” Chaumont told Reuters.

But it will take time for foreign tourists and their dollars to come back, Avedi said. “It might take a 2- to 3-year recovery,” he said.

 

 

 

 

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Jambojet Feted as Most Reliable Dash 8-400 Operator in Africa and Middle East

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Traditional dancers celebrate Jambojet’s glory

Nairobi, Kenya- 29th June, 2020–  Regional low cost carrier Jambojet has been awarded the 2019 Dash 8-400 Africa and Middle East Reliability Award for the second year in a row.

The airline is among five other airlines from Europe, North America, Asia Pacific and Oceania to win the accolade, specifically on its fleet of the DASH 8-400 Aircraft Program.

 The awards recognise operators of Dash 8 Series turboprops who achieve the highest rates of dispatch reliability. This is the percentage of flights that depart within a specified time of the scheduled departure time.

Airlines global standard uses a 15-minute margin between actual and scheduled departure time for a flight to be considered as having departed on time.

 While announcing this year’s recipients of the award, De Havilland Canada’s Chief Operating Officer, Todd Young said, “we heartily congratulate our eight award recipients, whose high rates of dispatch reliability exemplify the very best of our collaborations.”

 Last year, Jambojet was among thirteen airlines from around the world to be recognised for its outstanding performance, and also the first airline in Africa to ever be showcased at an International Airshow, when it was showcased at the 2019 Dubai Airshow.

 The airline was also ranked as top airline in Africa with the youngest fleet in a report by global aviation intelligence provider ch-aviation.

 Jambojet acting Managing Director Karanja Ndegwa said, “winning this award shows our competitiveness and commitment to giving the best customer experience. We assure our customers that once we resume operations after the current restrictions on movement are lifted, we are prepared to offer even better services in the new normal.”

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Samsung Galaxy A Series Improves Customer Accessibility to Mobile Phones

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Nairobi, Kenya –  24 June, 2020 – True innovation should be accessible to everyone. That’s why Samsung built Galaxy A.

 

From a big beautiful screen to uninterrupted performance, the A series is a lineup that has everything you want from a phone in a unique yet affordable package.

 

“The Galaxy A Series is designed around offering real value – innovation for all. The Galaxy A11, A21 and A31 all showcase the power of technology through premium features offered at an affordable price.

 

These devices are designed for a new generation who want to connect in awesome new ways” said Charles Kimari, Head of Department, Intergrated Mobile Division.

The Galaxy A11, Galaxy A21 and Galaxy 31 are just some of the incredible options in the A series. Clearly, they’re made for everyone.  All you have to do is choose the right Galaxy A for you.

 

Below are three devices in the Galaxy A Series that have captured the imagination of many:

 

Overview of Galaxy A11

 

  • A big screen for a better viewImmerse yourself in the large 6.4 inch Infinity-O Display of Galaxy A11. A wide aspect ratio fills your screen with content from edge to edge. Watch your favourite videos, games and live streams in vivid HD+ TFT.

 

  • Stylish colour in the palm of your handGalaxy A11 helps you stand out from the crowd with a sleek look that matches your style. Its smooth curves feel like they’re made for your hand, for a grip that’s easy to hold throughout the day. Choose the colour that fits you, like the classic Black or White, or colourful Red or Blue.

 

 

  • Triple camera to capture your live momentsGalaxy A11’s Triple camera consists of a 5MP Ultra Wide Camera with a 115-degree field of vision like the human eye, as well as a 13MP (F1.8) camera for bright, clear photos all day. And to round out, a 2MP Depth Camera for adjusting depth of field.

 

  • Power that keeps you goingWhen out living life, you need a phone that can last. A 4,000mAh (typical)* battery gives you the power to stream, share and game on. And if you start running low, plug in and power up with up to 15W Fast Charging.

 

 

Overview of Galaxy A31

 

  • See it all on a big, brilliant screenImmerse yourself in the large 6.4-inch* Infinity-U Display of Galaxy A31. A wide aspect ratio fills your screen with content from edge to edge. You can watch your favourite videos, games and live streams in vivid FHD+ Super AMOLED.

 

  • Slim on the outside, big on the insideThe Galaxy A31 is everything you want in a phone in a slim body. Housing a large 5,000mAh(typical) battery in the 8.6 mm-thick device, it fits right in your hand and comes in a geometric design with a glossy finish.

 

  • Quad Cam lets you shoot with more perspectiveGo ultra high-res with a 48MP Main Cam for crisp, clear photos day and night. A 123° 8MP Ultra Wide Cam captures more of the view. Choose the upgraded 5MP Macro Cam for highly refined close-ups, and make sure the subject always stands out with the 5MP Depth Camera’s multiple Live Focus effects.

 

  • Capture more of view from the same spotCapture the world with the Ultra Wide Camera’s wider field of vision. And with the 48MP Main Camera, your story stays bright and clear throughout the day.

 

Overview of Galaxy A21S

 

This trendy device is built around a 6.5-inch HD+ Infinity-O display. It boasts a 13MP selfie cam and a 20:9 aspect ratio. And the camera technology is simply stunning:

 

Trendy Design And Enhanced Features Including a Quadruple Camera

  • Main camera (48MP) – You can take clear and bright photos at night with the high-resolution 48 MP camera
  • Ultra Wide camera (8 MP) – Get ready to take shots with a 123˚ view, similar to the human eye’s 120˚
  • Macro camera (2 MP) – You can capture your subject in more detail, even down to the texture
  • Depth Camera (2 MP) – Experience more of life by adding the Live Focus effect to your portrait shots more naturally

 

For extra security the device includes a fingerprint scanner. The Galaxy A21s includes the OneUI Core on top of Android 10 and is powered by a mega 5,000 mAh battery which supports 15W wired charging. You will also enjoy the unique holographic design that illuminates every moment with an array of colours – black, white, blue and red.

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