Group Chief Executive of Ecobank, Ade Ayeyemi

Ecobank Group on Wednesday reported strong performance during the first half of 2022, with unaudited Profit before Tax (PBT) increasing by 24% to US$261 million.

The Group also announced a record return on tangible equity of 19.5% and increased earnings per share for shareholders by 24% year-on-year. Despite the challenging operating environment of high inflation, weakening African currencies, and slower economic growth, the Group's net revenues increased by 10% to $910 million.

These results demonstrate the sustained success of our revenue expansion goals under our 'Execution Momentum' strategy.

They also show the effectiveness of the Bank's diversified operating model, which impacts our customers and clients positively, as we benefit from our ‘Manufacturing centrally, Distributing locally' strategic approach. Ecobank business lines, Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB), Consumer Banking (CSB) and Commercial Banking (CMB), grew their PBT by 33%, 43% and 15%, respectively.

The performance of each of our regions also demonstrates the strength of Ecobank Group's diversified pan-African presence. Nigeria, French-Speaking West Africa countries (UEMOA), Central, East, Southern African countries (CESA) and Anglophone West Africa markets (AWA) grew their PBT by 74%, 42%, 37% and 8%, respectively.

During the first half of this year, clients' economic activities continued their post-pandemic recovery trajectories. Higher spreads on buying and selling currencies for clients and higher payment volumes increased our revenue. The payments business grew 23%, or $22 million, to $119 million (13% of Group revenues). The acquisition of more merchants and the increased usage of our cards by customers through sales and promotional marketing campaigns drove this growth.

In addition, customers continue to trust us and adopt our digital platforms (Omni Plus, Omni Lite, Ecobank Online, Xpress Points) across our businesses. As a result, customer deposits increased by 3% year-on-year, with the value of digital transactions rising by $10.5 billion to $39.1 billion.

Ade Ayeyemi, Group Chief Executive Officer, commenting on this solid half-year performance, said: "Our results for the first six months of 2022 reflect the benefits of our diversified business and geographies. It also shows our resilience and execution capabilities in the service of clients and customers in a challenging environment while generating adequate returns for our shareholders."

Ayeyemi continued: "Our investments in technology and digital capabilities are scalable and have reduced our cost-to-serve. Coupled with revenue growth, we achieved a record cost-to-income ratio of 56.0%. We increased impairment charges to reflect heightened credit risks. More importantly, we have proactively built-up central impairment reserves of $206 million, which we can deploy if needed in a stressed credit environment. At the same time, our balance sheet remains liquid and adequately capitalised, providing us the capacity to serve our customers better." 

During the first half of this year, Ecobank Group, across its pan-African footprint, won nearly 20 Awards from highly respected industry media and corporations. These reflect the beneficial impact on our services to our customers and communities, anchored in our vision to contribute to Africa's economic development and financial integration. Indeed, a few days ago, Euromoney named Ecobank as Africa's Best Bank, Africa's Best Digital Bank and Africa's Best Bank for SMEs at its 2022 awards ceremony.

"These accolades are a testament to our passion for serving clients and customers and our continued investments in technology, processes and people. I am extremely proud of my colleague Ecobankers, and I would like to thank them for their diligence and commitment. As always, we are working towards realising our vision and remaining the bank that Africa and friends of Africa trust." Ayeyemi concluded.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.