Commenting on the results, Pierre Guy Noël, Chief Executive, MCB Group said: “Notwithstanding a still difficult operating context, the Group posted a growth of 7.7% in profit attributable to equity holders which reached Rs 7,221 million, with the combined share of foreign-sourced income and non-banking operations standing at 57% thereof”.
“Backed by the Group’s diversification strategy, operating income sustained its growth momentum to increase by 9.3% to Rs 16,951 million.This performance was supported by a rise of 12.3% in net interest income amidst a notable pick up in loans and advances, mainly driven by the international activities of MCB Ltd, and improved margins linked to higher rates on foreign currency loans and the favourable evolution in yields on T-Bills during the year.Net fee and commission income increased by 7.1%, underpinned by higher receipts from regional trade finance linked to the Energy & Commodities business, cards activities and inroads made by MCB Capital Markets Ltd. Whilst profit on exchange grew by 4.0%, ‘other income’ edged up by only 1.6% reflecting lower contribution from disposal of investment at the level of MCB Equity Fund Ltd”.
“Operating expenses increased by 6.5% in line with capacity building initiatives. As a result, the cost to income ratio declined by some 110 basis points to stand at 40.1%. Impairment charges were up by Rs 266 million, representing some 61 basis points of loans and advances compared to 59 basis points one year earlier. Reflecting the improvement in asset quality, the gross NPL ratio declined by some 170 basis points to reach 4.5%”.
“In spite of an improved contribution from BFCOI, our share of profit of associates declined by 9.3% due to a loss recorded within PAD group. Tax charges rose by 14.6% due to a one-off charge of Rs 258 million relating to prior years, following a reassessment by the Mauritius Revenue Authority of the allocation of expenses between the local and foreign-sourced activities of MCB Ltd. Shareholders’ funds of the Group increased by 11.7%, with our capital adequacy ratio remaining comfortable at 17.3%, of which 15.3% in the form of Tier 1”.
“Prospects going forward look encouraging.Whilst projected to remain challenging, the operating context is conveying some positive signs. In Mauritius, in addition to a relative improvement in the money market, economic growth is likely to pick up slightly on account of a strong growth anticipated in investment as the large infrastructure projects continue to unfold.Furthermore, leveraging the interesting opportunities notably on the African continent, our international activities are projected to maintain an appreciable growth amidst a healthy business pipeline."
"Against this backdrop, results should improve further in FY 2018/19 with the Group benefiting from the full impact of the loan portfolio growth in the latter part of the last financial year”.