KCB doubles profit in third quarter to $225m, buoyed by regional units

Saturday November 20 2021
KCB Group

KCB Group CEO & MD, Joshua Oigara, KCB Group Chairman, Andrew Kairu (C) and KCB Group CFO, Lawrence Kimathi (R) during the bank's half year results announcement at the Nairobi Serena Hotel on August 19, 2021. The lender's half year profit doubled to Sh 15.3 billion from Sh 7.6 billion a year ago. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NAIROBI


KCB Group has doubled its third quarter net profit to $225 million, largely driven by increased revenues from subsidiaries and reduction in loan loss expense.

The group’s loan book surged 12 percent to $6.41 billion on account of improved lending in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda while customer deposits increased 11 percent to $7.66 billion, largely due to organic growth in Kenya.

The group’s total revenues grew by 16 percent to $713.39 million, driven by increase in both interest on loans and government securities and non-interest income driven by increased fees and commissions on banking transactions and foreign exchange trading.

The regional lender, which is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), also maintains that its strategic plan for the Ethiopian market remains in place, despite the political turmoil in the Horn of Africa country.

Concerns over Ethiopia

“We stand very strongly with our colleagues and our brothers and sisters in Ethiopia because of the difficulties we are seeing today. I also have staff in Ethiopia who are still operating, but I know Ethiopia is more resilient to this kind of difficulty. We are confident that our business will overcome the challenges we see,” the group’s chief executive Joshua Oigara told The EastAfrican in an interview 


He added: "So with these short-term challenges, I am confident that Ethiopia will overcome because they have been more resilient in the past. As it is, our opportunities in that market will remain despite the current challenges.”

Its stock on the NSE rose by 1.68 percent to $0.4 per share on November 18 from $0.39 the previous day as investors digested news about the lender’s performance and the proposed dividend payment. The lender’s profit after tax for the nine months period to September 30 jumped to $225 million from $97.32 million in the same period last year, with regional subsidiaries contributing 21 percent of the earnings.

KCB’s subsidiaries are in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan and a representative office in Ethiopia. These subsidiaries, including National Bank of Kenya which was acquired by KCB in 2019, doubled their total contribution to the Group’s net profit to $47.32 million from $24.1 million, in the same period last year.

Strong growth

“This is a strong moment and strong growth for our business. We see a huge input from Rwanda. Overall it is a good story, our good growth in our SME business as well,” said Oigara.

“All our international business are firing very strongly which is very exciting. We are in a very good position to continue this momentum this year.”

“This is the strongest quarter for us since the Covid-19 pandemic struck 20 months ago, with clear signs of economic recovery across key sectors. While we are cautiously optimistic of the prospects, especially due to the dynamic nature of the healthcare crisis, we project that the worst is behind us,” said Mr Oigara. 

According to the group’s unaudited financial statements, total costs rose by nine percent to $309.82 million on account of increased staff cost , with loan loss provisioning declining by more than 50 percent to $83.03 million from $178.57 million in the same period last year.

The stock of non-performing loans (NPLs) rose marginally to $875.89 million, from $866.07 million, while total assets increased by 15 percent to $10 billion, driven by organic growth across the Group’s businesses and acquisition of Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR) in Rwanda.

KCB completed acquisition of BPR in August in line with its pan-African expansion plan, and has kicked off integration activities in what will see the full consolidation of BPR and KCB Bank Rwanda into a single banking entity.