I&M Group PLC has delivered consistent growth in its 2021 financial results have reported a 3 percent growth in Profit after tax to 8.6 billion shillings compared to 8.4 billion shillings in the same period in 2020.
The performance was driven mainly by growth in customer deposits and loans as well as continued investment in the digital banking infrastructure. This has positioned the Group to achieve its steady growth trajectory.
Of note is that the Group has withstood the challenging operating environment and has continued to provide enhanced shareholder value as well as consistently paying dividends to shareholders amidst the two-year COVID -19 pandemic period. For FY 2021, the Board has recommended a dividend payout of 29% up from 22% in the previous year.
The Group’s flagship subsidiary I&M Bank Limited, Kenya took a more cautious approach during the period under review and has worked to support its clients as well as setting aside higher loan loss provisions than its industry peers. This was necessitated to cushion the Bank from the continuing impact of the pandemic and the heightened geopolitical risks.
The Group’s Net Non-Performing Loans, however, reduced by 22% during the period under review. This is better than the industry average and can be attributed to a significantly expanded loan book, which grew by 12%, and positive recovery efforts across multiple operations.
Commenting on the results, Mr. Daniel Ndonye, Chairman, of I&M Group PLC, noted, “2021, being the second year of the pandemic, was not devoid of challenges. The Group made key investments during the period under review to help us position ourselves better for future growth through enhanced resilience initiatives and optimization of our operations.”
“Specifically, we accelerated our digital transformation activities across the Group in a bid to deliver value to our customers through the provision of innovative financial solutions.” Mr. Ndonye noted.
In Kenya, I&M Bank Limited launched the new digital banking platform, I&M On The Go, through a partnership with Backbase which is a world-leading digital banking platform provider. Additionally, the Bank rolled out its Wealth Management and Advisory Services towards delivering holistic financial solutions to its customers.
The Group’s non-Kenyan banking subsidiaries performed well under difficult operating environments and contribute 13% of the overall profit before tax (versus 5% in 2020). Further, during the period under review, the Group completed its acquisition of Orient Bank in Uganda, thereby completing the expansion of its footprint in the East African region. The rebranded I&M Bank (Uganda) Limited contributed 5% of the Group’s total asset base as of 31st December 2021.
The Rwandan and Tanzanian subsidiaries made significant investments in their digital solutions during the year, launching digital lending and WhatsApp banking platforms – WhatsApp banking was a first in those markets. The Mauritian joint venture, Bank One, was able to deliver a much-improved performance of 181% growth in profit after tax during the period under review, as compared to a similar period in 2020.