Ghana Commercial Bank Limited (GCB), recorded a profit before tax of 392 billion cedis for its financial year ending December 31, 2006.
This represents a 68 percent increase over the 2005 figure of 234 billion cedis.
The bank's total assets also increased from 5,890.2 billion in 2005 to 7,792.0 billion cedis in 2006, representing an increase of 32.3 percent.
According to the bank's 2006 annual report, shareholders funds increased from 726 billion cedis to 919 billion cedis, an increase of 27 percent, while earnings per share were up by 102 percent to 1,576 cedis from 782 cedis during the year.
Consequently, a dividend of 550 cedis per share, amounting to 90.8 billion, being 35.5 percent of the bank's profit after tax and 37.5 percent above that of last year's, was proposed by the Board of Directors.
Speaking at the bank's Annual General Meeting in Accra on Friday, the Managing Director of GCB, Lawrence Newton Adu-Mante said that in response to the fall in investment returns the bank had to restructure its assets portfolio and place more emphasis on the creation of loan assets as against investment assets.
He noted that as a result of the restructure, gross loan and advances rose from 3.018~3 billion cedis in 2005 to 3,761.8 billion cedis in 2006.
This, he said, represented an increase of 24.6 percent, with investment in government securities increasing by 19.2 percent from 1.813.5 billion in 2005 to 2,162.2 billion cedis in 2006.
Mr. Adu-Mantc slated that the apparent rise in investment was the result of hard-core overdraft portion of 1.1 trillion into Government of Ghana bonds to rationalise crude oil financing.
The bank's operating expenses rose by 12 percent from the 2005 level of 729.4 billion cedis to 818.6 billion cedis in 2006.
He observed that notwithstanding some challenges that confronted GCB, year 2006 had been good for the bank, noting that prudent management of the economy resulted in low inflation of 10.3 percent and appreciated GDP growth rate of 6.2 percent at year-end.
Mr. Adu-Mante indicated that the upward adjustments in the prices of petroleum products adversely affected the operational expenses of the bank, noting that despite these developments, the bank did not relent in its efforts at pursuing its strategic agenda and continued to step-up its efforts at the realisation of its objectives.
"We have worked hard and been able to implement some of the long-term objectives in the year mainly through internal resources.
“I am happy to inform you that we have achieved positive results which have translated into a relatively reasonable profit for shareholders", he stated.
Kwabena Gyima Osei-Bonsu. Chairman of the Board of Directors of the bank in his statement said the year 2006 brought about great changes and achievement for the bank with its management team successfully networking all the 33 branches and 10 agencies.
He said that the bank's performance in 2006 was an indication of a promising 2007, stressing that further automation and ICT based products will be given prime attention to boost income generation and thus a higher shareholder value.
The meeting saw the re-election of Mr. Osei-Bonsu as the Chairman of the Board with Messrs Franklin Asamoah and Joe Ofori also re-elected as members of the Board.
Culled from the Ghanaian Times