Equity Group’s net profit for the 3 months ending 31st March 2019 has increased slightly to Ksh. 6.1 billion. This marks a slight increased from Ksh. 5.8 billion the banking group registered in 2018.
The banking group registered a 15% growth in total assets to reach Ksh. 605.7 billion driven by growth of 12% on customer deposits. Interest income grew by 7% while non funded income registered a 7% growth. Non-funded income contribution to total income bounced back to 41% up from 38% recorded the previous year. Non-funded income growth reflected increased transactional activities and uptake of various fees and commission services. This includes merchant banking commission which grew by 15% driven by increased market share to 42% of visa acquiring business up from 38%. Forex trading income grew by 22% supported by increased dollar flow from Diaspora remittances that grew by 27% to reach Ksh. 30.9 billion.
Bond trading income grew by 92% to Ksh. 450 million while mobile banking income grew by 15% to Kshs.282 million reflecting the growth in digital business.
Digitization has seen 93% of loans disbursed being accessed through the mobile channel while 97% of all cash-based transactions happened outside the branch. Digitization supported reduction of staff costs in the Kenya subsidiary for the 1st quarter from Ksh. 1.7 billion to Ksh. 1.6 billion. Digitization of customer journey has led to growth of digital payment transactions by 94% and supporting growth of customers to 13.6 million and customer deposit growth of 12% to Ksh. 428.5 billion up from Ksh. 382.4 billion.
Equity has announced a strategic partnership and collaboration with Safaricom to catalyze participation of Kenyans in integration of the corporate economy and the informal economy. The partnership will focus on the government led initiative of stimulating the real economy by prioritizing and massively investing in low cost housing, manufacturing, food security, agro-processing and health. The collaboration will see the two strong brands collaborate in using their eco-systems and value chain and networks to converge finance and technology through business and enterprises.
The company has also announced plans to acquire four subsidiaries of the London listed Atlas Mara in Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique. The transaction once it is closed would allow the Group to double the size of its operations in Rwanda and Tanzania while entering and establishing presence in the Southern Africa (SADC) region. The Group would have presence and footprint in the Eastern, Southern and Central Africa regions. It will cover the trade routes of Beira-Lusaka-Lubumbashi route, Dares salaam-Dodoma Mwanza-Kigali route, Mombasa-Nairobi-Kampala-Kigali and Juba route, and the Mombasa-Moyale-Addis Ababa-Juba trade routes.
As for CSR, the company through its corporate foundation has topped to Kshs.35 billion with 87% of the funding being on the Wings to Fly program and Equity Leadership Program. The program has seen 16,168 needy kids access free secondary education of whom 12,256 scholars have transitioned to university education with 496 students attending leading global institutions. Additionally, 1,739,478 young people and women have also benefitted from free 13 weeks’ financial education, FIKA-Financial Education for Africa.