KCB Group plans to venture into the Democratic Republic of Congo, after posting a nine per cent growth in profitability in 2019.
On Thursday, the bank released its consolidated financial results for the year ending December 2019, incorporating National Bank of Kenya books that showed profits before tax rose to Ksh36.9 billion ($355.6 million) from Ksh33.9 billion ($326.7 million) in 2018.
KCB Group is East Africa’s biggest bank by assets.
The growth was largely driven by Kenya, which is KCB’s biggest market, and which posted a five per cent rise in net profits to $242.9 million, up from $231.3 billion realised in the same period in 2018. The bank posted growth in profitability in Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi, but profits in South Sudan and Uganda dropped.
KCB said it delivered sustained growth despite operating in a region grappling with risks ranging from adverse weather patterns and stress from currency fluctuations to pressure from oil imports.
"All business lines were strong on both funded and non-funded income, as cost control, operational efficiency and driving excellent customer experience remained a top priority," said Joshua Oigara, KCB Group’s chief executive.
The international business cumulatively recorded a 7.4 per cent growth in profit before tax. Rwanda recorded the biggest growth in profitability of 124 per cent, from $4 million to $9.1 million.
Tanzania posted a 28 per cent growth from $7.4 million to $9.6 million, with Burundi growing by 25 per cent, from $2.1 million to $2.6 million.
South Sudan however recorded a 13 per cent decline in pre-tax profits to $5.5 million in 2019 from $6.4 million in 2018, while Uganda posted a 118 per cent loss of $780,751 compared with a profit of $4.2 million realised in 2018.