ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange (ZSE)-listed financial services group CBZ Holdings’ (CBZH) saw its basic earnings per share for the full year ended December 31 nearly doubling to 8,08 cents from 4,83 cents driven by a strong performance from the group’s flagship commercial banking unit.
CBZ, the largest bank by assets and deposits, which posted an impressive set of results for the period under review, became the first bank to release its year end financials yesterday as the reporting period begins.
Earnings per share are a rough measurement of the amount of a company’s profit that can be allocated to one share of its stock.
Profit after tax was up 48,4% to $45 million buoyed by interest income.
Interest earned from loans climbed to $49 million from $29 million recorded in the prior year as appetite for borrowing remained high on the domestic market.
Bank overdrafts also rose to $76 million from $71 million during the period under review.
Total comprehensive income was 51,3% up to $50 million. Operating expenditure rose to $83 million from $69,5 million during the period under review.
The group’s assets breached the $1 billion mark, closing the year at $1,1 billion as at December 31, 2012 from $981 million driven by money market assets.
Money market assets grew to $57 million during the period under review from $5 million.
“The group shall make it a priority to contribute to the overall improvement of the country’s investment,” said group chairman Luxon Zembe.
“The need for long lasting solutions to the funding challenges and the rescucitation of the ailing manufacturing sector remains a priority for the economy to register meaningful positive growth.”
CBZH stock opened the year at 14 cents and reached a low of 5 cents on March 23, 2012 before closing the year at 10 cents.
With 648 million shares in issue, approximately 90,7 million of the company’s shares changed hands during the year, 70 million of which were acquired by the company as treasury shares.
The group also reported that funds locked in Nostro accounts more than doubled to $38 million compared to the prior comparative year despite earlier concerns by the Reserve Bank that millions of dollars were trapped offshore.
A Nostro is a bank account held in a foreign country by a domestic bank, denominated in the currency of that country.
The accounts are used to facilitate settlement of foreign exchange and trade transactions.
Turning to the capital market, the group attributed the lackluster performance of the ZSE to indigenisation and empowerment regulations compelling foreign-owned companies to sell 51% shareholding to locals.
“Trade on the stock market remained subdued for the most part due to liquidity constraints that were experienced and the implementation of the country’s indigenisation policy,” Zembe said.