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FirstRand delivers good results

FirstRand Limited this week reported results for the six months to December 2014 with its portfolio of financial services franchises producing another strong performance.

Normalised earnings are up 15%, dividend increased 21% while its return-on-equity is up 24%.
Notable highlights FNB, RMB and WesBank grew profits and produced returns on equity significantly above targets. The group’s strong transactional franchise continued to drive return on assets up to 2.07%. Net interest income benefited from good growth in advances and deposits of plus 10%.
Commenting on the results, FirstRand Chief Executive Officer, Sizwe Nxasana, said, “These results are extremely pleasing. All operating franchises are delivering topline growth, as they continue to execute on specific growth strategies in their respective markets. Our strong Return-on-Equity was underpinned by the transactional franchise of FNB in both South Africa and the rest of Africa, as well as RMB’s investment activities. Despite a challenging local credit cycle WesBank’s market leadership position enabled them to produce a very resilient performance.” Nxasana commented that FirstRand remained well positioned to weather what is expected to be a difficult macro environment, “Economic headwinds are increasing and growth in the system remains very subdued. However, we believe that the strength of our businesses and their respective growth strategies, the diversity and quality of our earnings and our strong balance sheet positions us well to weather a worsening operating environment. In addition, our expanding footprint in the rest of Africa is delivering good growth in profits.”
 “We continue to look for opportunities to deploy more capital into growth opportunities both locally and in the rest of Africa, within a disciplined framework to maintain the group’s return profile,” Nxasana added.

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