…declares K4.3 billion dividend
Listed National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc on Thursday declared a profit of K17.16 billion, up from K15.97 billion reported in 2018 representing a 7% profit jump for the year ending December 31, 2019.
Addressing the Bank’s 48th Annual General Meeting (AGM) which was held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic, NBM plc Board Chairman George Partridge said non-interest income grew by 10% net Interest and Investment Income grew by 12%.
“Overall Net Revenue grew by 11% while operating expenses increased by 6%, notwithstanding staff rationalization costs that were incurred during the first half of the year. The loan book grew by 13% and customer deposits increased by 8% year-on-year,” said Partridge.
Among other resolutions the shareholders declared a final dividend of K4.3 billion making a total dividend of K8.3 billion in respect of 2019 profits representing MK17.82 per ordinary share, having already paid a first interim dividend of MK2.5 billion on 20th September 2019 and a second interim dividend of MK1.5 billion on 30th March 2020 in respect of the 2019 financial year.
On the operating environment, Partridge said the country witnessed pre and post-elections political tensions which negatively affected the general business environment, adding that the economy experienced some negative shocks occasioned by Cyclone Idai which affected some parts of the Southern Region of the country.
He also said tobacco production and earnings, the country’s major export commodity at 166 million kgs, with proceeds of US$237m, were respectively down 16% and 29% on prior year.
“These factors had a negative impact on our customers’ disposable incomes and as a result, demand for banking services did not grow as envisaged,” explained Partridge.
Partridge also said the severe negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on productivity and supply chains on the world economies and on the country will significantly affect growth prospects adding that the revised forecasts indicate that the world economy will shrink by 3% and that the current revised projections are that Malawi will only grow by 1%.
Partridge also reported about the impending acquisition of a foreign bank.
“In our efforts to expand our operations beyond the borders of the country, the Bank is in the process of acquiring a controlling stake of a bank in Tanzania. The process of securing regulatory approvals both locally and internationally is underway,” said Partridge.
He also said NBM plc is implementing a strategy that seeks to embed customer centricity deeply into its culture with digitization being one of the key pillars in the quest to excite its customers saying the Bank will be launching various value adding digital services this year.
“Despite the challenges ahead, the Board remains cautiously optimistic on the Bank’s future performance given its ability to leverage on its core strengths to address challenges and exploit opportunities on the market,” declared Partridge.
The AGM bade farewell to Elias Kambalame who retired from the Board in May 2019 after many years of service and welcomed and confirmed three new board members Bessie Nyirenda, McLeod Nkhoma and Crispin Mzengereza.
The AGM also re-elected Board members Raymond Banda, Maureen Kachingwe and Dorothy Ngwira who retired by rotation but offered themselves up for re-election.
By Mc Donald Chapalapata, a Contributor