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FirstRand breaks the billion dollar profit barrier

2021-09-14  Staff Reporter

FirstRand breaks the billion dollar profit barrier
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For the financial year that ended on 30 June 2021, FirstRand Namibia Limited’s profit after tax increased to N$1.086 billion, up by 2.4%, while total deposits were N$36 billion, down from N$38 billion in the previous year. Also, total advances remained steady at N$30 billion. 

Announcing their financial results on Friday, the Group’s ordinary dividend declared for end of 2021 is 118 cents per share, combined with the interim dividend of 94 cents, totalling 212 cents per share. This is compared to the total dividend of 154 cents in 2020. 

Moreover, the Group’s assets under management grew from N$14 billion in 2020 to N$15 billion in 2021, while Tier 1 Capital was recorded at 17.7%, compared to 15.9% in 2020.

The latest results also show Customer Satisfaction Scores came in higher than in 2020, speaking to an increased appreciation for the use of digital and alternative channels countrywide. 

In terms of digital innovations, FirstRand Namibia remains the market leader – showing strong growth in headline earnings at N$1 023 million, compared to N$867 million in 2020.

According to a FirstRand statement, these most recent financial results reflect an extremely difficult operating environment, with normalised earnings decreasing. 

Oscar Capelao, FirstRand Namibia chief financial officer, commented: “Post the beginning of lockdown in March 2020, underlying customer income and affordability in all segments deteriorated sharply as evidenced by lower levels of underlying transactional and credit turnover, and the increase in non-performing loans”. 

He added that for FirstRand Namibia, the economic impact of Covid-19 will continue to place acute pressure on the Group’s performance for the rest of the 2021 calendar year. 

“However, trends are improving post-lockdown – even as economic recovery slowly emerges, and we remain hopeful the remaining year will be better for Namibia and its people and the world at large,” said Capelao.

“At the same time, our clients, employees, and broader society suffered sustained, complex personal challenges and many loved ones were lost to the pandemic. At FirstRand Namibia, we share their grief and are saddened by the numerous members of our own FirstRand Namibia family too who passed away over this period through Covid-19-related illnesses. We extend our condolences to all families who lost loved ones,” said Conrad Dempsey, CEO: FirstRand Namibia.

“The group’s steady performance over the period is partly attributed to the pandemic impact driving necessary innovative and holistic relief programmes aimed at helping customers, including the Cashflow Relief programme, support to SME’s and larger businesses to continue to cover costs and salaries, as well as numerous waivers of fees and restructurings of loans,” continued Dempsey. 

Direct financial support to entities engaged in fighting the pandemic’s spread doubled the groups’ community investment over the period into health care worker protection, hospital equipment, oxygen delivery support, and vaccines transport and distribution across the country.

“FNB Namibia’s digital banking platforms have also contributed to its brand value growth. As a purpose-led brand, FirstRand Namibia continues to push and redefine boundaries on what help means to customers and society. We play a pivotal role in our customers’ lives by empowering them through relevant and meaningful contextual solutions. Help is, therefore, central to everything we do,” Dempsey added. 

“The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated our plans to design, implement and improve the nature of our financial and non-financial support to our customers and vulnerable communities. We continue to respond purposefully and empathetically to calls for help by assisting customers through a range of relief measures to help keep their heads above the water in the midst of a pandemic,” noted Dempsey. 

“Globally, economies and societies are starting to emerge from the pandemic. In some countries, post-pandemic life is becoming a reality, with swift economic recovery creating new jobs. This view of life on the other side inspires us and our partners to step up and rebuild lost capacity to ensure Namibia keeps in step with the global recovery,” ended Dempsey.

2021-09-14  Staff Reporter

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