• Total income of ZWL2.347 trillion achieved in the first quarter
  • Profit after tax increased by 78% to ZWL967.557 billion
  • Total expenses rose by 30%, but cost containment measures remain a strategic goal

Harare- ZB Financial Holdings, a diversified financial arm listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE), has surpassed ZWL2 trillion in total income within a three-month period setting the full-year 2024 fiscal period's tone on high note. This accomplishment was revealed in the bank's latest trading update, covering the first quarter ended 31 March 2023.

During this period, the bank's total income amounted to ZWL2.347 trillion, marking an increase of 120% compared to the previous figure of ZWL1.065 trillion recorded in the corresponding period of 2023.

The notable growth in total income was attributed to a substantial 214% rise in fair value credits and foreign exchange income. These gains reflect adjustments in asset values in response to a significantly altered operating environment.

Sustainable trading income experienced a robust increase of 53%, primarily driven by a substantial 69% growth in non-funded income. However, deposits and credit creation were adversely affected by the then record interest rates, which reached a high of 150%.

As a result of these developments, the group's profit after tax soared to ZWL967.557 billion, representing a 78% increase compared to the ZWL543.920 billion achieved in the corresponding period.

Nevertheless, total expenses also witnessed an increase of 30%, rising from ZWL573.422 billion to ZWL745.622 billion, despite the Group's efforts to implement stringent cost containment measures.

The bank emphasised the importance of generating sustainable earnings and implementing cost-containment initiatives as imperative strategic goals in the short to medium term.

Throughout the period under review, the group maintained an average liquidity ratio of 60% while the asset quality remained satisfactory, with non-performing loans staying below the regulated benchmark of 5%.

Total equity of the group experienced growth, rising from ZWL9.476 trillion as of December 31, 2023, to ZWL10.444 trillion as of March 31, 2024, primarily driven by the bank's performance during the period.

However, no dividends were declared for the quarter under review.

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