While individual results for Barclays Africa Group subsidiaries are yet to be announced, the group financial results were released on Tuesday showing increased profitability and return on equity, which is said to be the highest since 2008.
When addressing media representatives on Tuesday in a teleconference, Barclays Africa Chief Executive Maria Ramos said the 2014 performance confirms that the bank is on the right course. This is with regard to the three year strategy of building the ‘Go-To’ bank in Africa.
Ramos explained that the results show that the bank has delivered as planned. “The turnaround of our Retail and Business Bank is gaining momentum in South Africa. Our business shows solid growth outside South Africa,” Ramos said.
In 2014, Barclays Africa Return on Equity increased to 16.7 percent from 15.5 percent while pre-provision profit increased by 5 percent to R27.3 billion. During the same period, revenue grew by R63.1 billion as net interest income increased by 10 percent. The share of the revenue from outside South Africa is 19 percent which Ramos says it is already within the reach of 20-25 percent target. “We are currently Top 3 in 2 of our 5 largest markets by revenues and we have seen strong growth in Ghana and Zambia. But it is clear that we need to do more in the Rest of Africa to become top in all our 5 largest markets,” she said.
Ramos said they have delivered or exceeded on all the guidance they have given to the markets except loan growth which she says is slightly lower than what was expected. The Barclays Africa Chief Executive is confident they are creating sustainable returns to shareholders. This is reflected in the group share price, which appreciated by almost over 50 percent over the last 12 months. Over the past two years the group declared dividends of R21 billion.
The bank’s aim is to now improve customer service. Ramos explained that looking beyond mere revenue generation is also important in the business of the bank, where headline earning grew by 34 percent. “We have been adding value with services that go beyond commercial lending and current accounts, building even closer relationships with our customers,” she explained.