Standard Bank Group 2017 Profit Rises on Growth in Subordinated-Saharan Africa
By Alexandra Wexler
JOHANNESBURG--Standard Bank Group Ltd. (SBK.JO) reported a jump in full-year profit on Thursday, thanks to stronger growth across sub-Saharan Africa, underpinned by a rebound in commodity prices, lower inflation and higher consumer confidence levels.
Africa's largest lender by assets said that its profit rose to 26.24 billion South African rand ($2.22 billion) in the 12 months to Dec. 31, an 18% increase on a year earlier. Headline earnings--the bank's preferred profit measure which strips out certain one-time items--rose 14% to ZAR26.27 billion in 2017. The bank said the increase was despite headwinds from currencies, including a stronger rand and weak growth in its home market of South Africa.
The Johannesburg-based bank increased its total 2017 dividend by 17% to ZAR9.10 a share. Noninterest revenue ticked 0.2% higher to ZAR43.04 billion, it said.
Standard Bank shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange are up 14% year-to-date and have surged 43% over the last 12 months.
The bank continues to position itself to take advantage of growth in the continent's expanding consumer class, which is increasingly looking for more-sophisticated financial services as savings grow. Standard Bank said its Africa regions franchise contributed 28% to the group's headline earnings in 2017, up from 26% a year earlier, with strong performance in Angola, Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria and Uganda.
Electronic banking is also spreading quickly where Standard Bank considers itself well positioned.
Headline earnings from personal and business banking rose 10% to ZAR14.01 billion, while corporate and investment banking headline earnings climbed 11% to ZAR11.51 billion, it said.
Credit impairments fell 1.3% in the January to December period to ZAR9.4 billion, the bank said.
Write to Alexandra Wexler at email@example.com
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March 08, 2018 02:47 ET (07:47 GMT)Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.