Barclays Bank Botswana has registered a five percent growth on Profit before Tax (PBT) for the year ending December 2018.
The bank reports that its PBT stood at P588 million.
The bank’s Managing Director, Keabetswe Pheko-Moshagane said the increase in profit is attributed to the various initiatives that the bank undertook last year.
“Our operating costs remained well contained which led the business to achieve a cost to income ratio of 55 percent,” she stated at the end of the bank’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at Masa Square Hotel.
Pheko-Moshagane said the bank’s return on equity remained solid at 25 per cent underpinned by its growth which is further evidence of the momentum Barclays bank is on.
“Our balance sheet is sound and registered a solid 12 percent growth compared to the previous year,” she announced, stating that the growth allows the Bank to continue to invest in its business as well as issue competitive dividends to its shareholders.
She reassured the shareholders that the bank will continue to invest in technology by improving service channels and the bank’s branch network so as to deepen existing relationships whilst fostering new ones.
Speaking to the ongoing migration to Absa, Moshagane conceded that it has been a rigorous journey that has taught her that things get done efficiently when a group of people come together with a singular resolve to reach a certain goal, just as is the case with the biggest system migrations that the company recently completed.
The bank’s Board Chairman, Oduetse Motshidisi said Botswana’s economic growth stood at 4.5 percent in 2018, significantly stronger than the 2.9 per cent in 2017. He said this disparity was caused by the recovery of the mining sector during the year after the sector posted a 7.4 per cent growth rate during 2018.
“This reversed the 11 per cent contraction of the preceding year,” he said.
Motshidisi said the finance sector as well government’s expansion budget that underpinned the construction and general government sectors also showed an improved performance.
He said such factors contributed to the bank managing to record a healthy performance and show signs of an upward trajectory.
He said the bank is on track to transitioning into a future-fit digitally-led organisation that is ready to harness technology in a way that puts the clients first.
Motshidisi said prospects for 2019 are clouded by challenging global conditions with the domestic economy forecast to recede to 4.2 per cent as global demands for diamond is likely to be challenged by ongoing trade disputes between China and the United States of America, who are the largest consumers of Botswana diamonds.
He, however, said in the instance that the diamond sales decline the non-mining sector will have to accelerate significantly if economic prospects are to brighten.