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Business News of Thursday, 11 April 2013

Source: Graphic Business

Ecobank Group to grow at 15% in 2013

The Ecobank Group is projecting an annual growth rate of 15 per cent this year after two successful acquisitions in Ghana and Nigeria pushed the group's revenues up by 46 per cent in 2012.

The group is also expecting customer deposits to rise by 20 per cent in 2013, out of which loans will account for half of the estimated growth rate. The group’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Thierry Tanoh, disclosed these when the group took its turn at the Ghana Stock Exchange’s (GSE’s) Facts Behind the Figures programme in Accra.

The Facts Behind the Figures is an initiative by the local bourse for listed companies to explain their end-year financials to stock brokers, the media and other stakeholders. The group trades on the GSE as Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI).

While commending the management and staff of ETI for the group’s sterling performance in 2012, Mr Tanoh said the group would work to consolidate its current position in 2013 by investing in the various units while cutting down on the cost of its operations. The group, which operates in the country as Ecobank Ghana Limited and in 32 other countries in Africa, closed last financial year with total revenues at US$1.8 million, up from the 2011 close of US$1.2 million.

“The increase (in revenues) was primarily driven by a full year of contribution from Oceanic Bank and The Trust Bank (TTB), as well as strong growth across the platform in fees and commissions, cash management fees and trading income,” the group said in a statement that accompanied the release of its 2012 financials last week. ETI acquired TTB in Ghana early last year and Oceanic in Nigeria late in 2011.

The acquisitions and their subsequent integration into the group pushed its local units in Ghana and Nigeria to number one and six positions, in terms of assets respectively. “The acquisitions were a positive thing to us and we are happy the integration ended successfully,” Tanoh said, but admitted that the deals equally spiked the group’s cost of operations.

Its costs rose by 51 per cent from 2011 to US$ 1.3 billion in 2012. He, however, assured that management was working at bringing it down to appreciable levels in 2013. He also congratulated the Ghana office for an efficient operation in 2012, which he said led to a minimal rise in cost compared to similar offices in other countries.

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