Michael Tome Business Reporter
ZB Financial Holdings (ZBFH) says it will be focusing more on cost management and investment in real estate business as the financial institution moves towards capital preservation given the prevailing turbulent economic environment.
The group said in the trading update up to September 2019 that the operating environment continued to be dogged by sustained shortages of local bank notes and foreign currency, all heaping to operating restrictions in the period under review.
Some of the prevalent hitches that have stalled operations in varied firms cutting across all sectors including fast depreciating local currency against major currencies, upward inflation and declining household disposable income levels were acknowledged as contributing factors to the business slowdown.
Resultantly, ZBFH highlighted that it has rearranged its strategic focus from growth to the conservation of its capital base through the acquisition of properties.
“The group will continue to focus on capital preservation and manage cost expansion against revenue growth in order to secure the sustainability of operations in the future,” said ZBFH in the trading update.
ZB also bemoaned the ever growing cost of doing business, saying it had led to operating expenses jump by 109 percent to close the period at $86,9 million from $41,7 million in the prior comparable period in September 2018 .
All these developments come on the backdrop of a modest performance in the period under review as the bank realised a $125,3 million profit after provisional taxation for the nine months ending September 30, 2019, translating to an 806 percent increase from $13,8 million posted in the comparative period last year.
Total revenue grew by 294 percent to $234,1 million from $59,4 million achieved in 2018 attributable to non-funded income, which contributed 86 percent to total revenue, while net interest income contributed 14 percent.
In the said period the group’s total asset base grew by 128 percent to $1,514 billion (as at September 30, 2019), 128 percent better than 31 December 2018 closing balance of $663,2 million.
No interim dividend has been proposed for the quarter.