Absa Bank Kenya PLC has reported a notable 34 per cent increase in net earnings for the first quarter of 2024, reaching Sh5.9 billion.

This significant growth is underpinned by a 19 per cent rise in revenue to Sh16.5 billion, driven by a robust expansion in the bank's balance sheet.

"We are pleased to release our first quarter of 2024 results, which illustrate the Bank's progress in meeting its strategic objectives through diligent execution," the directors noted.

Customer deposits saw a substantial increase of 14 per cent, amounting to Sh355 billion, while customer assets grew by 5 per cent to Sh327 billion.

The bank's strategic focus on transforming into a modern consumer financial services company has paid dividends, evidenced by the rapid growth in customer numbers and a strong presence in key economic sectors such as agriculture, trade, and manufacturing.

In comparison to the first quarter of 2023, Absa Bank Kenya has demonstrated considerable financial progress.

The revenue for Q1 2024 rose by 19 per cent, up from Sh13.9 billion in Q1 2023.

Net earnings showed a remarkable 34 per cent growth from the previous Sh4.4 billion, underscoring the bank’s profitability and efficient operational strategies.

Customer deposits grew by 14 per cent, an increase from Sh311 billion in Q1 2023, highlighting customer trust and confidence in the bank's services.

Customer assets saw a 5 per cent increase from Sh311 billion in the previous year, indicating strong demand for the bank’s loan products and services.

Additionally, total assets reached Sh514.6 billion, a significant rise from Sh484 billion in Q1 2023, showcasing the bank's expanding footprint in the financial sector.

The cost-to-income ratio improved to 33 per cent in Q1 2024, compared to the previous year's 35 per cent, demonstrating better cost management and operational efficiency.

Earnings per share increased to Sh0.82 from Sh0.76, reflecting the overall positive financial performance and enhanced shareholder value.

Abdi Mohamed, Managing Director and CEO of Absa Bank Kenya PLC, commented on the performance, stating, “We are pleased with the resilient financial outcomes attained in the quarter under review, which demonstrates that we are sustaining strong business performance anchored on our new strategy while aligning with the needs of individuals, businesses, and society and living our purpose of empowering Africa's tomorrow together…one story at a time”​

Absa Bank Kenya has continued to solidify its leadership in the corporate and investment banking segment, positioning itself as a key player in Kenya’s financial sector. 

The bank’s non-interest income also played a crucial role in the overall performance, contributing Sh4.5 billion to the total operating income.

In terms of efficiency, the Bank's statutory operating expenses saw an 11 per cent increase.

This rise was attributed to transformational and people investments, which the Bank has effectively leveraged to accelerate revenue growth.

These efforts have culminated in a substantial enhancement of the cost-to-income ratio, now standing at 33.9 per cent.

Impairment levels also experienced a marginal increase compared to the same period last year.

This increment aligns with the Bank's prudential risk management principles, given the growth in its balance sheet and the prevailing challenging operating conditions.

Nevertheless, the Bank's portfolio quality remains superior to the industry's standards.

Moreover, Absa has ensured an adequate coverage ratio, which surpasses industry levels, thereby minimising and better managing potential future credit losses.

On the capital and liquidity front, Absa Bank continues to maintain robust ratios, well above regulatory requirements.

The Bank's total capital adequacy ratio closed at 17.9 per cent, and its liquidity reserve position stood at 33.5 per cent, both comfortably exceeding the regulatory limits of 14.5 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively.

While acknowledging current market challenges, Absa remains optimistic about future prospects.

"Looking ahead, we aim to continue sustaining the growth and momentum in our core business through a relentless focus on executing our strategy and thus driving our market share objectives. This will be driven by deliberately transforming our business for the future by making the necessary investments in technology and innovation while remaining customer-centric," Mohamed stated.