Absa Bank Kenya PLC has today reported a normalised profit after tax of Kshs8.5 billion for the period ended 31 December 2019, a growth of 15{d59e984f9fbc5c09e4ab0305e27bfa5819922b7230cd324f89a660f78358ca33} compared to a similar period last year.

Normalised performance excludes exceptional item of Kes 1.5billion, which relates to costs incurred in the rebranding exercise into Absa. The performance is mainly attributable to a 7{d59e984f9fbc5c09e4ab0305e27bfa5819922b7230cd324f89a660f78358ca33} growth in total income, 1{d59e984f9fbc5c09e4ab0305e27bfa5819922b7230cd324f89a660f78358ca33} growth in operating costs partially offset by a 9{d59e984f9fbc5c09e4ab0305e27bfa5819922b7230cd324f89a660f78358ca33} growth in impairment.

Total assets grew by 15{d59e984f9fbc5c09e4ab0305e27bfa5819922b7230cd324f89a660f78358ca33} year on year driven by growth in customer loans, government securities as well as other liquid assets.

Net customer loans was up 10{d59e984f9fbc5c09e4ab0305e27bfa5819922b7230cd324f89a660f78358ca33} to close at Kshs195 billion driven by key focus products namely; general lending, asset finance, mortgage and scheme loans that recorded strong growth year on year.

Customer deposits grew by 15{d59e984f9fbc5c09e4ab0305e27bfa5819922b7230cd324f89a660f78358ca33} to Kshs.238 billion with transactional accounts making up 70{d59e984f9fbc5c09e4ab0305e27bfa5819922b7230cd324f89a660f78358ca33} of the total deposits.

During the period, total income increased by 7{d59e984f9fbc5c09e4ab0305e27bfa5819922b7230cd324f89a660f78358ca33} to Kshs33.8 billion driven mainly by the growth of non- interest income, which was up by 9{d59e984f9fbc5c09e4ab0305e27bfa5819922b7230cd324f89a660f78358ca33} year on year.

The main areas of growth were risk fees, fixed income trading and risk managed products (RMPs). Interest income grew by 5{d59e984f9fbc5c09e4ab0305e27bfa5819922b7230cd324f89a660f78358ca33} from the previous year largely because of growth in the lending book; though partially offset by the margin compression as a result of drop in Central Bank Reference rate (CBR).

Absa successfully completed its brand transition journey in February 2020 replacing the brand name Barclays after 103 years.

Meanwhile, during this coronavirus pandemic, Absa group has announced that it will endeavour to pay all supplier invoices within 14 days, in order to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) meet their financial obligations during this period.

Additionally, Absa has committed to work towards paying all invoices of Kes1 million and below, within 7 days. This, it says will go a long way in helping these businesses maintain their cash flow and working capital.