TOUGH TIMES

KCB half-year profit drops 40% on Covid-19 impact

Net profit closed at Sh7.6 billion

In Summary

•The stock of NPLs increased to Sh83.9 billion up from Sh39.1 billion in 2019.

•The bank restructured facilities worth Sh101 billion as of June.

Customers queue inside a KCB branch in Nairobi. /FILE
Customers queue inside a KCB branch in Nairobi. /FILE

KCB Group has reported a 40.1 per cent drop in net profit for the six months to June, blamed largely on increased provisions in the wake of higher credit risk due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

After tax profit for the period was Sh7.6 billion, a drop compared to Sh12.7 billion same period last year.

“The second quarter was the toughest in our recent history as the pandemic hurt economic activity across markets. Most of the key sectors were nearly shut down and our customers continue to face unprecedented challenges,” Group CEO and MD Joshua Oigara said in a statement on Wednesday.

Oigara said when the virus hit the country in March, the lender made a commitment to look after its customers, staff and other stakeholders while pursuing business continuity.

"We intend to keep on this promise even under the current worsening operating environment,”he said.

To cushion stakeholders against Covid-19 impact, the Group has instituted a raft of interventions such as loan restructuring where for the period under review, , the bank restructured facilities worth Sh101 billion, it notes.

According to the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), at least Sh844.4 billion of loans in the wider banking sector were restructured by end of June, in line with the emergency measures announced by the apex bank on March 18, to cushion borrowers from adverse effects of Covid-19.

The amount accounts for 29 per cent of banking sector loan book estimated at Sh2.9 trillion.  

The amount of restructured loans has more than tripled since April when only seven per cent of the banking sector loan book or Sh176 billion was rescheduled following CBK’s directive. It has also more than doubled compared to May.

KCB said the debt-relief measures have seen customers apply for their loans to be restructured,credit lines expanded and loan tenures extended to keep them financially afloat.

KCB has also waived fees associated with loan restructuring and those for mobile transactions below a thousand shillings

During the period under review, the lender's total operating income surged 17 per cent to Sh45.0 billion  compared to Sh38.6 billion in June 2019.

Net interest income was up 22 per cent to Sh31.1 billion from Sh25.4 billion, riding on additional investments in government securities and lending.

Non funded income was up six per cent to Sh14.0 billion from Sh13.2 billion, driven largely by revenues from the digital proposition, growth in the forex income and additional income from National Bank of Kenya, the newest subsidiary of KCB Group.

The continued focus on driving digital transactions saw the proportion of non-branch transactions rise to 98 per cent up from 95 per cent in Q2 2019 mainly driven by mobile, internet and agency banking.

Total operating expenses were up 20 per cent on the back of the NBK acquisition.

The synergies from the acquisition and the Group-wide cost management drive are expected to improve this position in the second half of the year, management has affirmed.

The Group set aside Sh 11 billion as provision expense for potential loan losses that could crystalize as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, compared to Sh3billion provision during a similar period last year.

 On the funding side, customer deposits were up 35 per cent to Sh758.2 billion.

Asset quality for the six months, the ratio of non-performing loans (NPLs) to total loan book increased to 13.7 per cent from 7.8 per cent in 2019, mainly due to consolidation of NBK and heightened defaults associated with the pandemic.

The stock of NPLs increased to Sh83.9 billion up from Sh39.1 billion in 2019.