CBZ posts $45m profit

HARARE - Financial services group CBZ Holdings (CBZ) reported a 61 percent rise in after tax profit to $45 million from $30,3 million in the year ended December 2012.

The group said the performance was driven by a strong gross written premium.

Earnings per share stood at 8,08 cents during the period under review compared to 4,83 cents in 2011.

Profit before tax jumped 45,4 percent to close the year at $55,6 million from $38,2 million recorded in the previous period.

CBZ, the first Zimbabwean banking group with over $1 billion in assets, said it shall prioritise contributing to the overall improvement of the country’s investment climate in order to attract positive net investment into all sectors of the economy.

“The need for long-lasting solutions to the funding challenges and the resuscitation of the ailing manufacturing sector remains a priority for the economy to register meaningful positive growth,” said group chairperson Luxon Zembe.

Zimbabwe, which abandoned its inflation-ravaged currency in 2009 to adopt foreign currencies, has been battling an acute liquidity crunch and was forced to sharply cut its 2012 GDP growth forecast to 5,6 percent from the 9,4 percent due to a poor agriculture season, lack of donor funding and policy inconsistencies.

CBZ, which has commercial banking, mortgage lending, asset management and insurance units, said it already meets the new capital requirements imposed by the central bank last month, under which banks need to put up to $100 million in minimum capital by June 2014.

Zembe said he was encouraged by the group’s progress in meeting one of its key objectives of consolidating activities within the company.

“The synergies created among the subsidiaries resulted in improved overall group performance and we shall continue to exploit these synergies to maintain our position as the largest diversified financial services group in Zimbabwe,” he said.

In the period under review, CBZ declared an interim dividend of 0,132 cents.

“A final dividend of 0,172 cents per share has been proposed and this translates to a total annual dividend of $2 081 397, up 21,7 percent from the 2011 figure,” said Zembe.

The group’s assets rose to $1,223 billion by June, up from $1,055 billion in 2011, while total deposits rose to $1,032 million by June 2012, up from $828 million in the previous period. - Business Writer

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