FirstRand Namibia headline earnings increase by 13.3%
FirstRand Namibia Limited headline earnings for the six months ended 31 December 2019 increased 13.3%, according to the results released this week
FirstRand Namibia Group CEO, Sarel van Zyl said concerted efforts to manage the group’s operating expenses, as well as its ongoing investment in the quality of its lending book over the past three years have started to pay off.
The group has maintained a good balance between net interest income (50.4%) and non-interest revenue (49.6%.). The group’s non-interest revenue increased by 7.4%, showing a resilient performance given the real economy challenges, mainly on the back of increased transactional volumes.
FirstRand Namibia’s net interest income of N$1054 million, increased by 5.4 % from the prior period. Driven by both advances’ growth in Retail and Commercial at 5.8% and Corporate and Investment banking at 31.4%. The deposits franchises also increased well at 7% from prior period.
Growth in both the premium and consumer segments was driven by unsecured lending and cross selling into the base. WesBank exceeded expectation by maintaining its advances book at N$3.5billion, when compared to new vehicles sales which are down 12.6%, the lowest since 2006.
The Investment Banking Division in RMB Namibia was able to lift business by continuing to deliver landmark and innovatively structured deals, which translated into solid growth in advances and lending income, contributing to economic growth and job creation.
During the period, the group contributed N$10.7 million to the FirstRand Namibia Foundation, its primary corporate responsibility vehicle.
Van Zyl attributes this performance to careful and consistent execution of several very specific growth strategies, with the objective to create shared value for all stakeholders – staff, customers and shareholders.
However, given the structural nature of Namibia’s challenges, the van Zyl believes that domestic economic activity will remain under pressure for the foreseeable future.
“However, FirstRand Namibia remains optimistic that, despite this difficult backdrop, it is executing on appropriate cost management and responsible growth strategies to deliver growth based on the increased trust of customers and backed by the confidence of shareholders,” van Zyl said.