National Bank of Malawi (NBM) Plc has registered an increase in the half year profit after tax ending June 30, 2023 to K35.48 billion from K22.12 billion reported in the same period last year, which represents 60 percent growth.
According to the financial statement released by the Bank, signed by Board Chairperson, Jimmy Lipunga, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) McFussy Kawawa, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Masauko Katsala, and Board Director Dorothy Ngwira the results were driven by growth in both net interest income and other income which grew by 25 percent and 87 percent respectively.
“Overall net revenue grew by 44 percent, operating expenses increased by 28 percent, and Net Impairment losses decreased by 61 percent on account of more recoveries. Customer deposits increased by 28 percent while the Bank’s loan book grew by 9 percent. Investment in Fixed Income securities grew by 13 percent. All the subsidiaries and an associate of the Bank posted profits that contributed positively to the Group’s half-year performance,” reads the statement in part.
The Bank however says the growth in the first half of 2023 was adversely affected by some factors.
“The growth in the first half of 2023 was adversely affected by exogenous weather-related shocks in the aftermath of tropical cyclone Freddy and dry weather conditions in the Northern Region,” reads part of the statement.
The Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) listed commercial bank also notes that the excess foreign exchange demand conditions remain the catalyst for continued local currency depreciation against the currencies of the major trading partners despite the ongoing tobacco auction season.
“The monetary policy authorities signaled the introduction of a foreign exchange rate price discovery initiative by introducing currency auctions, the first one of which was conducted in mid-June 2023 resulting in a mild 3% depreciation of the Malawi Kwacha while the country also experienced fuel supply shortages,” reads the statement in part.
According to the Bank, headline inflation increased to an average of 26.5 percent in the first quarter of 2023 from 26.0 percent in the last quarter of 2022 closing at 27.30 percent in June 2023 and the reference rate closed at 21 percent.
NBM further says the outlook for 2023 is for inflation to remain elevated, premised on the short crop size and heightened demand-side inflationary pressures emanating from fiscal risks, second round effects of cyclone Freddy, and the exchange rate depreciation.
“The Board envisages a continuing challenging operating environment. Pressure on inflation and foreign exchange is expected to continue. In spite of this, the Board remains cautiously optimistic and expects the Bank to continue with its strong performance in the second half of the year,” reads the statement.