KCB raises dividend payout despite flat earnings

KCB Group chief executive Joshua Oigara. FILE PHOTO
KCB Group chief executive Joshua Oigara. FILE PHOTO 

KCB Group reported a flat net profit of Sh19.7 billion in the year ended December in the wake of weaker earnings from its subsidiaries in the region.

The lender’s net profit stood at Sh19.6 billion a year earlier.

Nearly all of its earnings in the review period came from Kenya compared to the previous year when the bank earned Sh3.1 billion from the regional units.

“The contribution of the international business dropped to less than five per cent as a result of the devaluation of the South Sudan Pound and accounting for the hyperinflationary environment in the country resulting in an overall negative impact on net monetary position,” KCB said in a statement Thursday.

Its loan book grew 11.4 per cent to Sh385.7 billion, helping to raise total interest income 11.3 per cent to Sh62.8 billion.

Operating expenses increased 11.9 per cent to Sh40.3 billion despite an 11.8 per cent reduction in loan loss provision to Sh3.8 billion.

KCB’s bad debt rose 35.5 per cent to Sh31.8 billion in what it attributed to defaults by a few large corporate borrowers.

The bank declared a dividend of Sh3 per share, raising it from Sh2 the previous year. The new dividend will be paid on May 26 to shareholders on record as of April 24.