Ecobank Ghana has paid GH¢231.6million as dividend at 79pesewas per share in 2014, almost double what was paid in 2013, which was GH¢126.1million at 43pesewas per share.
The share price of the bank on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) increased by 35.4 percent over the last 12 months, from GH¢5.61 to GH¢7.6. This compared favourably to the growth in the GSE index of 5.4 percent for the same period.
The bank’s loan book grew by 27 percent to GH¢2.7billion, with customer deposits also increasing by 30 percent to GH¢4.2billion.
Managing Director of the bank, Samuel Ashitey Adjei, said the bank’s focus on serving customers has yielded these outstanding results in 2014. “With a sound profitability position, our strong liquidity and capital position allowed us to make investments for future growth.”
He added that the bank’s operational efficiency improved significantly in 2014, with significant improvements in return on average equity, return on assets, efficiency ratios, non-performing loans ratio and other key performance indicators.
Overall, the bank’s total revenue grew by an appreciable 45 percent to GH¢857.7million from GH¢589.76million, with profit before tax seeing a 67 percent increase to GH¢446.9miillion in 2014.
“The performance of the business segments exceeded expectations, with each segment experiencing growth in income in the face of competition.”
The Domestic banking segment grew its total revenue by 44 percent to GH¢380million from GH¢263million in 2013, which contributed a total of 44 percent to the bank’s total revenue. Corporate bank and Treasury also grew by 40 percent and 55 percent to end the year at GH¢270million and GH¢208million respectively, with a contribution of 32 percent and 24 percent to total revenue.
According to Mr. Adjei, the bank’s prudent cost control and strong revenue generating capability allowed it to reduce cost to income ratio from 45.3 percent in 2013 to 44.2 percent in 2014.
“Our non-performing loan ratio declined to 1.78 percent from 5.9 percent, a clear reflection of our robust risk-management framework.”
Total equity increased by 42 percent in 2014 to GH¢798.4million. Return on average asset improved from 4.7 percent in 2013 to 6.1percent in 2014, while return on average equity improved from 37 percent in 2013 to 47 percent by the end of 2014.
Board Chairman, Lionel Van Lare Dosoo, noted that the bank during the year under review has remained relentless in its corporate social responsibility activities.
“We celebrated our annual Ecobank Day with a country-wide campaign against malaria. Our staff — together with 13 health centres across the nation — engaged in clean-up exercises and we donated basic amenities worth US$140,000 to support the fight against malaria.”
In conjunction with the John Agyekum Kufour Foundation, Mr. Dosoo noted that the bank funded the construction of a mechanised borehole facility,the refurbishment of a maternity clinic, and the installation of solar-powered street -for the Ashong Kojo rural community.
He pledged to continue improving even further the trusting partnership between the bank and its customers over the years. “To our shareholders, we will continue to work hard to maximise your returns. To the communities in which we operate, we will continue to find ways of being relevant.”