KCB Group PLC, the largest bank in Eastern Africa, has announced a profit after tax of KES 9.8 billion for the first quarter of 2023, a 26.9% increase from the same period last year.
The Group attributed its impressive performance to increased revenues from non-funded income, customer transactions and the consolidation of Trust Merchant Bank (TMB), its subsidiary in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Group’s total assets grew by 40% to KES 1.63 trillion, driven by higher loans and investments in government securities. Customer deposits also rose by 41.5% to KES 1.20 trillion, reflecting strong customer confidence and loyalty.
The Group’s regional businesses contributed 35% to the overall profitability, up from 17.2% last year, demonstrating the success of its regional expansion strategy.
However, the Group also faced some challenges, such as increased costs, provisions and credit risk due to the tough economic environment and forex devaluation in Kenya. The ratio of non-performing loans (NPL) stood at 17.5%, mainly due to downgrades from the KCB Kenya business.
“Our focus was on delivering value and support to customers to help them navigate the tough economic environment, while driving revenue growth for the Bank. The first quarter performance highlights the resilience of the business across the corporate and retail franchises. The regional businesses performed well, giving credence to the regional expansion strategy,” said KCB Group CEO Paul Russo1.
He added that the Group was committed to pursuing innovations, delivering products with leading value propositions, growing the existing businesses, opening new frontiers and maintaining a tight cost management regime.
KCB Group Chairman Andrew Kairu expressed optimism about improved performance in the remaining quarters of the year despite the challenges.
“While the Group’s growth in the past has been majorly driven by Kenya, its future hinges on becoming a significant regional player. We therefore continued to bolster our capacity to match the meaningful role that we seek to play and become an undisputed leader in the region,” he said.