ABSA Group Limited, one of Africa’s largest financial services providers, reported an increase in revenue and earnings for 2018, a year of almost unprecedented corporate activity, as the group repositioned itself for delivery against a new growth strategy as an independent African bank.
Normalised headline earnings increased by 3% to R16.1 billion compared with 2017 and revenue increased by 4% to R75.7 billion.
Shareholders will receive a final dividend of R11.10 per share, a 4% increase from the final 2017 dividend.
Normalised earnings are considered the best measure of underlying group performance, as it strips out the distorting effect of items related to the separation from Barclays Plc.
“Despite a challenging backdrop, we are particularly pleased with our improved momentum as we embark on our new growth strategy. This was evident in our gross loans to customers which increased by 13%,” said Jason Quinn, Absa Group Financial Director.
“Last year was a year of almost unprecedented activity for Absa Group as the business was re-set as an independent bank after Barclays Plc reduced its shareholding to a minority stake in 2017,” said René van Wyk, Absa Group CEO said.
Absa Group announced a new strategy in March, as it repositioned itself as an independent African banking group focused on growth.
In April, a new operating model was implemented to structure the business for delivery against the new strategy.
In June, Absa Group achieved regulatory deconsolidation from Barclays PLC, which meant that regulators no longer regarded the two businesses as a consolidated entity.
In July, the group started trading as Absa Group and launched refreshed brand in South Africa.
Commenting on the group results, Absa Regional Operations Chief Executive, Peter Matlare said: “We are pleased with the contribution of our African operations to Absa Group’s overall performance and we remain focused on contributing to the group’s ambition of growing revenue market share on the continent over the coming years.”
Barclays Bank Ghana’s Managing Director, Abena Osei-Poku, said: “As we join in reflecting on our parent company’s full year results for 2018, we are excited about our own future as we make progress on our journey to the new Absa brand in Ghana. Our transition to a new brand in the near future presents us with a unique and exciting opportunity to leverage our rich African heritage and deep understanding of the local market to drive relevant initiatives that can unlock Ghana’s potential and support its growth.”