WINDHOEK, FEB 24 – Capricorn Group Limited, a proudly Namibian financial services group listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange, with diversified operations and business interests in Namibia and Botswana, released its interim financial results for the six months ended 31 December 2021 today.
The increased economic activity, albeit from a low base, had a positive impact on the performance of the Group, with profit from continuing operations increasing by N$111.4 million (23.8%) year-on-year. Profit from continuing operations of N$580.5 million, however, remains slightly below the pre-Covid profit reported for the six months ended 31 December 2019 (N$587.8 million). As previously reported, the sale of the Group’s banking operation in Zambia was concluded on 4 January 2021. Consequently, the N$40.9 million losses made by Zambian operations in the comparative period were not repeated in the current period.
“Our interim results reflect a slightly improved operating environment. We were able to preserve and grow value despite the economic and social shock brought about by Covid-19, based on the diversified nature of the Group”, said Thinus Prinsloo, Group CEO.
The value created by the Group from its improved performance during the six months ended 31 December 2021 is shared by all of its stakeholders:
• Employees – N$580.8 million (31.7%)
• Government – N$367.4 million (20.0%)
• Shareholders – N$223.5 million (12.2%)
• Suppliers – N$201.2 million (11.0%)
• Capricorn Foundation – N$7.7 million (0.4%)
• Value retained for future expansion – N$452.4 million (24.7%)
Group financial performance highlights
• Net interest income increased by 4.9% year-on-year mainly attributable to an improvement of 50 basis points (“bps”) in the net interest margins of Bank Windhoek as a result of a effective funding repricing.
• Impairment charges decreased by 21.6% year-on-year to N$182.0 million, mainly attributable to the improved operating environment positively impacting the key credit risk indicators of the banks resulting in lower provisions required than in 2020. However, the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is still very prevalent, as illustrated by impairment charges for the six months still significantly exceeding pre-Covid charges of N$54.3 million reported for the six months ended 31 December 2019.
• Non-interest income increased by N$130.1 million (18.4%) thanks largely to a significant increase in net trading income of N$69.7 million (180.2%), mainly from foreign exchange trades and derivatives. Transaction-based fee income increased by N$42.9 million (8.6%), driven mainly by increased transaction volumes on the back of improved economic activity. Furthermore, the Group’s non-interest income was well supported by its diversified revenue streams with net insurance income and asset management fee income increasing by N$11.0 million (20.9%) and N$3.9 million (5.1%) respectively.
• Despite Namibian inflation increasing to 4.5% as at 31 December 2021, operating expenses growth was well contained at 4.1% year-on-year. This bears testimony to the Group’s focus and ability to contain costs.
• Income from associates decreased by 33.9% year-on-year, following a significant volume of life insurance claims resulting from the Covid-19 third wave in Namibia during the months of July and August 2021.
Statement of financial position
• Capricorn Group reflected a healthy liquidity position as at 31 December 2021 as the Group’s liquid assets increased by 10.1% year-on-year. Liquid assets exceeded regulatory requirements in Namibia and Botswana by 109% and 55% respectively.
• Gross loans and advances increased by 3.6% to N$43.7 billion during the six months ended 31 December 2021. Bank Windhoek’s growth of 2.6% is well above annualised Namibian private sector credit extension growth of 1.2%, indicating the ability and intention of the Group to extend financing to continue to support clients during the pandemic. Bank Gaborone increased its loan book by 2.8% to P5.1 million during the six month period.
• Asset quality remained a key focus area for the Group. Despite the challenging economic environment, the Group’s total non-performing loans (“NPLs”) increased by 4.5% since June 2021 to N$2.57 billion. This resulted in the NPL ratio increasing marginally from 5.8% to 5.9%. This is well below the industry average NPLs in Namibia, reflecting the effectiveness of the Group’s proactive approach with regards to credit risk management.
• The Group maintained its strong capital position and remains well capitalized with a total risk-based capital adequacy ratio of 15.1% (June 2021:15.0%), well above the minimum regulatory capital requirements of 10.0%.
The Group declared an interim dividend of 32 cents per ordinary share. The interim dividend per share for the period under review is 45.5% higher than the final dividend per share of 22 cents declared during February 2021. As always, the Group seeks to declare an interim dividend that balances prudency, in preserving the Group’s capital and liquid asset position, with a fair dividend yield for investors in the current low interest rate environment.
− Last day to trade cum dividend: 11 March 2022
− First day to trade ex-dividend: 14 March 2022
− Record date: 18 March 2022
− Payment date: 30 March 2022
“Following modest economic growth in Namibia and Botswana in 2021, Capricorn Group expects further economic recovery as Covid-19 restrictions are relaxed and the global pandemic inches closer to endemic status. Thus, the outlook is for improved economic conditions both in Namibia and Botswana, albeit from a lower base. As we embark on the future, the stability and sustainability of the Group for the benefit of all stakeholders remain our key priority”, said Thinus Prinsloo, Group CEO.
“Our employees showed genuine commitment and passion through their continued service and support to clients during the challenging circumstances brought on by the pandemic. I am grateful to the more than 2000 passionate and hardworking employees who resiliently adapted to the impact of the pandemic. We would not have come this far without them. I also wish to thank our loyal clients, partners and suppliers. The significance and value we draw from our relationships, collaborations and partnerships with these stakeholders are immeasurable in exceptional times like these. As a group, we are inspired by our purpose of improving lives through leadership in financial services by being Connectors of Positive Change,” concluded Thinus Prinsloo.