Equity Bank’s net profit surged by 36 percent to Ksh.11.8 billion in the first quarter of 2022 from Ksh.8.7 billion in quarter one of 2021.
This has been catapulted by growth in interest and non-interest income.
Net interest income grew 31 percent to Ksh.26.67 billion in line with 28 percent growth in loan book to Ksh.623.56 billion.
Equity Group Managing Director James Mwangi said the three months’ results reflect the continued momentum of the bank as its client’s base and the region’s economy comes from the strain occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The uncertainty has now dialed down and we are nearing pre-pandemic levels of operations. The region now has a stable operating environment,” said Dr. Mwangi.
“We are inspired by estimates and projections especially for Kenya where we have not seen a 7.5 percent GDP print in so long.”
The bank’s loan book has meanwhile grown by 28 percent to Ksh.623.6 billion from Ksh.487.7 billion last year while investments in government securities have hit Ksh.389.4 billion from Ksh.258.9 billion.
Its total operating expenses have soared to Ksh.16 billion from Ksh.14 billion.
The rise in costs include a 38.5 percent growth in loan-loss provisioning costs to Ksh.1.8 billion from Ksh.1.3 billion with the added cover representing general provisions to fortify the new loan book.
Equity expects its performance to remain resilient going into the half and full year earnings despite recent shocks to the macroeconomic environment including inflation and supply chain constraints,
“We would like to spin the can and see the concerns as a blessing in disguise. The economy continued to grow in the last elections. Kenyans have moved on, the economy has become bigger and the private sector has balanced political concerns,” added Dr. Mwangi.
Equity Group’s total assets grew by 29 percent to Ksh.1.3 trillion from Ksh.1 trillion in 2021.
The Group’s ongoing digitization initiatives have seen the lender’s overall cost of income fall to 45.3 percent in the quarter.