Kenya’s KCB Group 9-month profit doubles as economy recovers

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FILE PHOTO: An ATM is seen in the banking hall at the Kenya Commercial Bank, Kencom branch in Nairobi

(Reuters) – Kenya’s biggest lender by assets, KCB Group, said on Wednesday its pre-tax profit for the first nine months of the year doubled compared to the same period last year as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bank’s pre-tax profit hit 35.8 billion Kenyan shillings ($320 million) from 17.14 billion shillings in the same period of last year. It did not provide a quarterly breakdown.

“This is the strongest quarter for us since the COVID-19 pandemic struck 20 months ago, with clear signs of economic recovery across key sectors,” said KCB Group chief executive Joshua Oigara said in a statement.

The bank, which also operates in Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and Burundi, said loan loss provisions fell to 9.3 billion shillings compared to 20.0 billion shillings last year. The ratio of non-performing loans (NPL) decreased from 15.1% to 13.7%, the bank said.

Net interest income was 56.4 billion shillings, compared to 47.9 billion in 2020.

In August, KCB posted a 70% year-on-year surge in first-half pre-tax profit, saying the worst of the pandemic was behind it although the recovery was not “perfect”, and that the firm planned to normalise loan repayments by the end of next year.

($1 = 111.9000 Kenyan shillings)

(Reporting by Ayenat Mersie; Editing by Jan Harvey, Edmund Blair and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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