Atlas Mara in record profit

HARARE - BancABC Zimbabwe parent company Atlas Mara has recorded an impressive $11,3 million profits in the full year to December 2015 from a loss of $47,8 million registered in the prior comparable period.

Total income grew by $43 million to $220 million in the 12 months under review through adding new customers and broadening product offerings, the company, incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and traded in London, said yesterday.

“Our prime task in 2015 was to attract high calibre talent as well as reinforce, rationalise and integrate the businesses we have acquired to make them fit to deliver superior growth in the years ahead,” Atlas Mara group chief executive John Vitalo said.

He added that while the financial services company expects 2016 to be another challenging year, the group’s confidence in the thesis that existed at the time of its founding remains unshaken.

“Prospects for the growth of financial services in sub-Saharan Africa remain robust,” he said adding there was scope for a newly-established and innovation-driven financial institution with access to capital, liquidity and funding to rapidly build scale.

“The significant steps we have made towards achieving our strategic objectives in the year 2015 are notable. In the year ahead, we will continue to build on this ground work and remain focused on executing on our strategy, while being conscious of the need to manage the balance between making investments and delivering value to our shareholders, customers, employees and other stakeholders,” Vitalo said.

In the period under review, Atlas Mara’s loans and advances grew by 15,2 percent on a constant currency basis, reflecting the group’s  investment in improved credit origination processes.

Deposits increased by 11,5 percent on a constant currency basis, as a result of the company’s focus on liability management.

The Africa-focused financial institution said client acquisition strategy and cross-selling initiatives have been bearing fruit after retail deposits grew from 18,3 percent in 2014 to 20,8 percent of the total deposit book as at December 31, 2015.

Corporate deposits were 36,5 percent of the total deposit book by the end of last year and there was less reliance on more expensive Treasury deposits which represented 42,7 percent of total deposits as at December 31, 2015 from 60,6 percent a year earlier.

In the period to December, Atlas Mara announced a $200 million partnership with the United States government’s overseas private investment corporation for selected acquisitions and inclusive on-lending.

Atlas Mara also issued a $63,4 million placement of eight percent senior secured convertible bonds due 2020.

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