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The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) listed entity, Barclays Africa Group Limited on Friday announced what the group Chief Executive described as strong results for H1 2016 with headline earnings increasing by 12 percent to R7.25 billion. Ramos indicated that the growth was supported by strong pre-provision profit growth of 19 percent. The weakening of the South Africa Rand is reported to have added three percent to the group’s revenue and cost growth. The group, which is majority owned by Barclays PLC, said it still maintained top three status by revenue in four of the five largest markets; South Africa, Ghana and Botswana.
Speaking during a teleconference on Friday, Ramos said revenue grew by 13 percent with focus on cost management resulted in operating costs increasing by seven percent despite ongoing investment in new technologies, people and infrastructure. Revenue from the rest of Africa business increased to 23 percent of total revenue which is said to be within the target range of 20-25 percent, but Ramos could not provide information on the perfomance of such banks in terms of contribution to the group. In terms of the business units of Barclays Africa Group, Retail and Business Bank’s headline earnings registered a 10 percent increase on prior year too R4.9 billion. Corporate and Investment Banking headline earnings grew by seven percent to R2.0 billion supported by revenue growth.
The Wealth, Investment Management & Insurance is down by 8 percent on prior year to R690 million despite a 13 percent growth in Life Insurance in South Africa.
Barclays Africa Group is a majority shareholder in a number of banks across the continent, including Barclays Bank Botswana. And Ramos said the rest of Africa business continued to grow faster than the South African business where low business confidence and a combination of weak job growth, higher inflation and rising interest rates have conspired to put a strain on consumer finances. GDP growth in South Africa is expected to continue to weaken in 2016 and recover slowly in 2017 with average GDP growth in the rest of Africa presence countries expected to be the lowest since 2002.