Standard Bank announces 14% profit rise for 2017

Cape Town - The Standard Bank Group [JSE:SBK] announced on Thursday that its global headline earnings for the year to end-December 2017 increased by 14% over the previous year to R26.3bn.

The bank's total income for the financial year was R127.5bn. Full-year dividends per share rose to R9.10, some 17% more than the previous year's R7.20.

Headline earnings per share increased by 14% to R16.40.

Shares in Standard Bank - the largest banking group in Africa by assets - were trading up 1.65% on the JSE at 11:05.  By 12:20 they were up 0.46% at R224.88 a share. 

The group said in a statement that currency fluctuations had impacted its results. 

“Although less marked than in the first half of the year, currency movements continued to adversely impact the group's reported results, reducing group and banking headline earnings growth by four percentage points year on year.

“On a constant currency basis, group headline earnings grew by 18%”. 

The group also reported that its total assets now stood at just over R2trn, from R1.95trn at the end of the 2016 financial year. 

Standard Bank Group CEO Sim Tshabalala said the bank is optimistic about economic prospects in South Africa for the coming year.  

“We believe that the positive steps already taken by the ruling party subsequent to its leadership conference will improve business and consumer confidence. This positive sentiment, as well as pent-up demand, should begin to reflect in key economic indicators,” he said.

Fewer branch visits, more mobile 

Standard Bank said its personal and business banking division delivered headline earnings of R13.2bn in the year ended December 2017, up 11% over 2016. 

It also shrinked its branch network space by 3%, as it focused more on digital baking channels. 

"This [branch] footprint has been reduced by more than 15% since 2010, without a material change in the numberof branches," it said. 

Mobile banking transactions processed were 32% higher than in 2016, while teller and enquiry volumes in branches declined by 14% and 13% respectively, a trend seen in other big South Africans banks. 

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