The implementation of a five-year strategic plan which started last year has led to the HFC bank chalking significant financial gains and transforming it into a major financial institution in the West African sub-region.
At the bank's annual general meeting held in Accra to take stock of last year's performance, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Nana Agyei Duku said the bank's implementation of its plan resulted in an increase in interest income that rose by 28.2% to ¢126,499 million while total assets increased by 52.1% to ¢1,072 billion.
The bank recorded profit after tax of up to 70.3% to ¢12,208 million in 2006 and an expansion of its network coupled with improved marketing further resulted in increased customer deposits by 97.9% to ¢554,762 million.
He noted that in creating wealth for shareholders and delivering excellent customer service, it was also engaged in corporate social responsibility in several community partnership initiatives such as donations to various centres at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and Dzorwulu Special School among many others.
Mr. Duku noted, “The bank will stay focused on its chosen set plan to keep the organic growth robust in the short to long term, whilst expanding the bank's investments and strategic alliances in the international market.”
Mr. Asare Akuffo, Managing Director of the bank said notwithstanding the challenges of steep reduction in interest rates, increased level of competition in the banking industry coupled with the cost associated with business expansion, the bank was able to achieve a significant improvement in earnings and a substantial growth in assets with an appreciable growth of profit before tax increasing by 114% from ¢7.7 billion to ¢16.5 billion.
This performance he said was made possible due to the bank's focus on higher yielding quality assets, attracting lower cost deposits and improving overall earnings.
He stated, “We were able to achieve significant expansion in our balance sheet. Total assets grew by 50.7% (2005: 18%) to ¢1,072 billion. Corporate loans increased to ¢402 billion from ¢91 billion.”
In addition, he pointed out that mortgage loans increased by ¢67 billion and consumer loans added ¢35 billion to the year-end figure as well as a growth in deposits by 98% to ¢555 billion and lower cost savings and current accounts increased by ¢116 billion, representing 84%.
According to him fee income was vigorously pursued, which resulted in a contribution to income of ¢13.3 billion with the banks outgoing cost reduction project also keeping costs within a relatively lower growth rate of 18%.
He stated that the bank's outstanding loans also increased by 34% from ¢193.5billion to ¢260.2 billion with the Cedi mortgage portfolio also witnessing an increase of 56% amounting to ¢146.7 billion at the end of the year 2006.
This performance he said is the strongest since 2000 and could be attributed to the improved quality of service to customers at the bank's Home Loan Centre and the introduction of a wider range of mortgage products to meet the needs of various income groups.
Mr. Asare concluded, “We shall continue to emphasize growth with its acceptable returns to shareholders in the second year of our five-year strategic plan.”
Also, Shareholders received a dividend of ¢55.00 for the 2006 financial year with the total dividend payment representing a pay-out ratio of 46% of net profit; an increase in 22% over that of 2005.
Credit: The Chronicle