ByÂ Peter Egwuatu
STANDARD Chartered Plc has announced its half yearâ€™s result of 2009 as it posted a 10 per cent rise in operating profit before tax to $2.84 billion.
The bank also recorded a 14 per cent rise in income toÂ US$7.96 billion with the the Group seeing substantial income momentum across markets with four key geographies reporting over $500 million of income each in the first half.
According to a statement, the performance was driven by strong momentum in Wholesale Banking with income rising 37 per cent, benefitting from market dislocation and volatility leading to market share gains. Restructuring initiatives in Consumer Banking began to show early positive results with income falling only three per cen over the second half of 2008 while operating profit increased 11 per cent over the same period.
The board of directors have also announced an interim dividend of 21.23 cents per share, up 10 per cent.
Peter Sands, Group Chief Executive, Standard Chartered, said: â€œThese results show record income and profit performance, characterised by significant momentum over both the first and second halves of last year. Our balance sheet strength is now a source of competitive differentiation helping us win more businesses. We are in the right markets at the right time.â€Africa achieved records levels of income and operating profit in H1 2009. The Wholesale Bank delivered an exceptional first half on the back of the continued focus on growing strategic and value-add products. The Consumer Bankâ€™s strategy continues to focus on broadening its product suite, focusing on SME and leveraging on our unique local presence to drive product innovation. The balance sheet remains in very good shape with liquidity closely managed.
Commenting, Mike Hart, Regional CEO Africa said: â€œAfrica recorded very strong income and profit growth in the first half of 2009 driven by an exceptional performance in our Wholesale Banking business. Across the region we remain in a position of strength. The investments we have made in our distribution channels, in our products, our services, our people and our systems are realising immediate value. We continue to differentiate our brand and have confidence in our strategy for long-term, sustainable growthâ€. The foundations of the Group remain in good shape with capital ratios running higher than target ranges with tier 1 ratio at 10.5 per cent and total capital at 15.8 per cent. The Group showed demonstrable cost control in the face of continued economic uncertainty with costs up only three per cent and cost income ratio down to 49.6 per cent compared to 56.4 per cent in the first half of 2008. Wholesale Banking income increased to $5.03 billion for the first half while operating profit increased 36 per cent to $2.25.
billion, benefiting from the strategy of deepening client relationships which saw revenue from the top 50 clients rising 40 per cent. Within the business, Financial Markets increased income by 68 per cent, Corporate Finance by 68 per cent and Lending & Portfolio Management by 67 per cent. Three of the four client segments each generated income of over $1 billion in the first half.
Compared to the first half of 2008, Consumer Banking income declined 15 per cent to $2.69 billion while operating profit fell 57 per cent to $348 million. The performance was a reflection of the combined effect of lower interest rates, pressure on the Wealth Management business and a shift towards a more secured asset portfolio. However Consumer Banking was more profitable compared to the second half of last year as it benefitted from a series of cost saving and efficiency initiatives.