Harare – Steward Bank has announced an impressive set of earnings headlined by a 42% jump in profit after tax (PAT) of RTGS$31.9 million in its financial year ended 28 February 2019 from RTGS$22.5 million last year, as revenue climbed amid growth in non-net interest income and other operating income.
Total revenue for the period increased by 144% to RTGS$54.9 million from RTGS$22.5 million in prior largely driven by a surge in non-interest income of RTGS$90.3 million versus last year’s RTGS$63.1 million in line with the Bank’s “aggressive customer acquisition strategy,” and digital expansion drive.
Operating income also climbed 48% to RTGS$104.3 million compared to RTGS$70.3 million in the prior year, while net interest income increased by 61% to RTGS$21.5 million from RTGS$13.3 million last year.
“The financial performance is reflective of Steward Bank’s position as Zimbabwe’s transactional bank of choice,” the Bank’s Chairman Bernard Chidzero said in a statement accompanying the financials.
“In 2014, when our five-year strategy kicked off, the aim was to officially include 1 million people. Five years on, we have attained that strategic target and today we bank more than 1.4 million customers,” he added.
Total assets grew by 103% to RTGS$935 million up from RTGS$471 million recorded in the previous year largely driven by an increase in demand deposits which grew by 118% to close at RTGS$747 million from RTGS$342 million disclosed in the comparative period last year.
“The Bank tier 1 Capital was RTGS$92.6 million which is above the regulatory minimum of $25 million,” Chidzero said.
Commenting on the financial performance, acting chief executive Krison Chirairo said “the growth is testament to the resilience of the transactional banking model during the uncertain times.”
Chirairo said the Bank tops the charts as the largest card issuer in Zimbabwe with plus 400 000 cards issued while over 30 000 POS devices have been deployed including 22 000 Kwenga mobile POS machines.
“On Square, our mobile platform we have registered impressive numbers with over 490 000 people active on the mobile platform,” he said.
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Raynold Mhotseka is a Journalism and Media Studies student at the University of Zimbabwe. He serves as a news writer at financial research firm, Equity Axis where he is currently on attachment.