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Ecobank integrates network, grows profit by N32.3bn

BY CHINEDU IBEABUCHI

Ecobank Group said it has integrated all its existing subsidiaries into a single point of contact with the intent on delivering a seamless customer brand experience across the network.

This is just as the bank has reported a N32.27 billion ($207 million) profit for its 2011 financial year, representing a 57 per cent increase recorded in previous year.

Mr Kolapo Lawson, Group Chairman, Ecobank Group, while disclosing this in the bank’s annual report, said this was achieved against the volatile background in the global market. He said the bank total assets were $17.2 billion at the end of 2011, an increase of 64 per cent on 2010.

According to him, this was driven by 52 per cent increase in customer deposits to $12.1 billion and 40 per cent increase in customer loans to $7.4 billion. He said the bank’s performance was consistently strong across business segments and geographical clusters, adding that revenues grew by 33 per cent to $1.2 billion, continuing to outpace increases in operating expenses.

“This contributed to a 57 per cent rise in the profit for the year to $207 million, on the basis of which we are proposing s dividend payment of N0.62 (0.4 US cents) per share. As encouraging as these results are, we are not resting on our laurels. In 2011 we focused on consolidating our presence in key markets and integrating and optimizing network,” he said.

“All existing subsidiaries of the Ecobank Group are now running on the oracle FLEXCUBE IT platform and expected to migrate the operations of Oceanic Bank and TTB to this platform in 2012,” he said.

Commenting on the integration of its network, the bank’s Group CEO, Mr. Arnold Ekpe said they are intent on delivering a seamless customer brand experience across the network. For example, he said standardized payment solutions reduce the number of days to affect payment across the network and corporate bank customers have a single point of contact.

“A matrix organizational structure ensures that knowledge and processes are consistent across the group. In 2011, all Ecobank affiliates moved onto a single FLEXCUBE IT platform. The newly acquired Oceanic Bank and TTB will be migrated quickly onto this new platform in 2012.”

He noted that the single most significant event of 2011 for the bank was the acquisition of Oceanic Bank of Nigeria.

Adding to this, the Group Chairman, Mr. Kolapo stated that their Nigerian’s operation has been restored to health, having completed the sale of non-performing loans to AMCON during the year.

He said the turnover was reinforced by the transformative acquisition of Oceanic Bank, which has propelled Ecobank into the first tier of banks in Nigeria.

He said the bank also initiated the acquisition of the Trust Bank Limited in Ghana, increasing the bank’s market share in what was the fastest growing economy in sub-Saharan Africa in 2011, noting that the transaction was completed in the first quarter of 2012


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