HARARE – NMBZ Holdings realised a profit before taxation of ZWL 705 414 282 last year, in what the group’s chairman, Ben Chikwanha, described as a remarkable performance, despite the difficult operating environment.
The inflation adjusted figures showed an increase in profit before tax of more than ZWL 14 million compared to the previous year’s inflation adjusted pre-tax profit of ZWL 691 317 803.
Profit for the year after a tax credit of ZWL 143 848 660 came to ZWL 849 262 942. Total comprehensive income amounted to ZWL 1 030 289 817. Basic earnings per share were 210,12 cents compared to 96,49 cents in 2019.
Operating income came to ZWL 2 135 903 118, down from the previous year’s figure of ZWL 3 046 516 037, while operating expenditure increased by 18 percent from ZWL 1 079 026 942 in 2019 to ZWL 1 274 247 625, an increase attributed mainly to staff rationalisation and COVID-19 related expenditure to ensure the safety of NMB Bank customers and staff and compliance with COVID-19 protocols.
Total assets increased by 17 percent from ZWL 9 372 348 955 as at December 31, 2019, to ZWL 10 957 161 610 as at December 31, 2020, mainly due to a 125 percent increase in investment securities, a 60 percent increase in investment properties and a 25 percent increase in property and equipment.
Investment properties increased by more than ZWL 620 million due to additions and improvements made to the bank’s property investment portfolio in line with the group’s value preservation strategies.
Total deposits increased by 17 percent from ZWL 5 343 012 221 as at December 31, 2019, to ZWL 6 262 750 864 as at December 31, 2020.
In his chairman’s statement accompanying the results, Chikwanha said NMB Bank’s digital strategy had been launched at the most opportune time and been instrumental in driving business within the COVID-19 circumstances.
The bank had recorded significant growth, expansion and improvement in its digital platforms, resulting in enhanced service delivery. The group had adopted a number of value preservation strategies in response to the prevailing hyperinflationary environment in order to ensure shareholders’ value was not eroded.
“These measures culminated in the group’s remarkable financial performance in spite of the difficult operating environment,” Chikwanha said.
NMB Bank’s capital adequacy ratio stood at 52,56 percent, well above the minimum statutory requirement of 12 percent and adequate to cover all risks and to support the underwriting of new business.
Its regulatory capital stood at ZWL 2 186 036 634 as at December 31, 2020 well above the minimum regulatory capital requirement of ZWL25 million.
“The bank remains confident that its plan to meet the revised minimum capital of the ZWL equivalent of USD 30 million for a tier one bank by 31 December 2021 is achievable,” the chairman said.
The bank’s non-performing loans ratio continued to come down. It was 0,44 percent at the end of last year, compared to 1,37 percent at the end of 2019.
Chikwanha said the group had fostered and was buttressing its culture of responsible business practices by paying more attention to sustainability issues.
“Our aim is to continuously strengthen our performance and create our sustainability strategy anchored on financial inclusion, education, water, housing, construction, health and climate.
“To this end the group, through its banking subsidiary, remains committed to financing the education sector, health, property and construction, as well as supporting the SMEs, the youths, the disadvantaged, vulnerable groups in addition to supporting various environmental conservation initiatives
“Through advancing affordable loans, support was extended to both educational institutions and students in pursuit of supporting the education sector. The bank also provided support in the construction and maintenance of roads, dams and houses across the nation.
“Furthermore, the bank extended funding to local authorities in a bid to ensure the provision of clean water and other critical amenities to residents,” he said.
He said the bank had also continued to provide mortgages for residential accommodation and commercial properties.
The bank continued with its financial inclusion drive, he said. It had intensified the opening of low cost NMBLite accounts. It would continue to enhance its digital offerings to continuously improve the customer experience, which would contribute to its desire to broaden its market segments and grow its deposit base.
He said the group was confident that the COVID-19 measures adopted by the government and the vaccination of the population coupled with the collective efforts of all corporates and citizens would continue to minimise the spread of the COVID-19 virus and its elimination in the foreseeable future. Its containment continued to be an imperative for a global and local economic rebound, he said.
“We are encouraged by the exchange rate stability which has been prevailing in the second half of the period under review and remain hopeful that the stability will continue prevailing in order to create a conducive operating environment for business and the attraction of capital, which will go a long way in ensuring economic growth and stability in the foreseeable future,” he said.