The estimated 1,500 shareholders who were forced to hold the virtual AGM to avoid spreading the novel coronavirus at a physical gathering in May, applauded management of the country’s largest, home-grown financial services provider for its resilience, dynamism and impressive annual performance which resulted into a 120.1bn/- net profit last year.
The profit was an increase of 87 percent from the 64bn/- net profit made in 2018 while the 17/- per share dividend is over 100 percent increase compared to 8/- paid in 2018. The banking conglomerate had planned to hold its 25th AGM on May 16, 2020 at the Arusha International Conference before the novel coronavirus struck.
Presenting the report for the year ended December 31, 2019, CRDB’s Board Chairman, Ally Laay said that all the three business entities within the CRDB Group reported a transformative growth and improved performances, in terms of higher earnings and profits, compared to what was achieved in 2018.
Laay expressed gratitude to shareholders for joining the meeting as well as their committed support, which has made the bank continue to grow stronger. “The board of directors have adopted strategic initiatives that seek to provide investors with a stronger, stable and sustainable form of capital distribution so as to maximise long-term share value for shareholders whilst collaborating with the management to inculcate a high-performance culture that will yield positive returns,” her said. Laay also announced that the group has its eye on growth prospects to new markets and is currently well positioned to enter the DR Congo’s banking market.
Presenting details of 2019 performance, CRDB Group’s Managing Director, Abdulmajid Nsekela said businesses continued to improve with growth in all key indicators including loans and advances, deposits and assets, which grew by eight percent to 3.4trn/- from 3.1trn/- in 2018.
Nsekela noted that deposits grew by 11 percent to 5.2trn/- while net assets also increased by nine percent to 6.6trn/-. “Our customer base also grew by 50 percent across the group from two to three million. Overall customer satisfaction has shown positive trends, as a result of our transformational efforts in digitising customer feedback routes and service touch points,” Nsekela noted.
He further reported that the group has improved its asset quality by reducing non-performing loans from 8.3 percent to 5.5 percent which is the biggest improvement, compared to an industry average currently pegged at 11 percent.
“On the innovation front, we keep soaring. In the last financial year, we have launched several innovative financing solutions for different sectors and customer segments aiming at addressing financial challenges that impede growth,” the group CEO stated.
Speaking on the groups’ earnings, Frederick Nshekenabo, CRDB Bank’s Chief Finance Officer said earnings remained strong while the bank expanded its overall market share in to slightly above 20 percent.
Nshekanabo quips further noted that the group’s Return on Equity (ROE) improved nearly by double to 14.7 percent, a rate higher than the industry average currently at eight percent while net interest income grew by 19 percent to 526bn/-
CRDB Bank Group also comprises of CRDB Bank Insurance Brokerage Limited and CRDB Bank Burundi SA, which is the first overseas subsidiary in the neighbouring Burundi, a part of the regional expansion plan in East Africa.