Business News of Wednesday, 21 March 2018
Source: afb Ghana
afb Ghana, a subsidiary of the regional inclusive finance group, Letshego Holdings Ltd (“Letshego Group”), has reported strong growth results for 2017.
Although coming off a low base, profit after tax has hiked 166% year-on-year, loans disbursed increasing by 75% and customer numbers also increased by a quarter of a million for the same period.
Speaking at Ghana Stock Exchange’s annual ‘Facts behind the Figures’ forum, afb Ghana’s Managing Director, Arnold Parker, commented, “2017 has been a milestone year for afb Ghana.
We started the year on a high note in finalizing our acquisition by the like-minded Letshego Group, who bring two decades of experience in inclusive and sustainable finance to communities across 11 markets in Africa.
Then, thanks to the Letshego’s increased investment and confidence in afb Ghana’s growth potential, we have since forged new strategic partnerships to launch financial solutions which meet the needs of thousands of Ghanaians by being accessible, simple and appropriate in value.”
afb Ghana’s positive growth in customer numberscan largely be accredited to the launch of “Qwikloans” during the second half of the year, a dynamic partnership afb forged with MTN Ghana.
afb Ghana started the year with around 50,000 customers, and closed the financial period with over 300,000 customers, thanks to the simple, accessible and appropriate philosophy afb Ghana has adopted since its acquisition by the Letshego Group in January 2017.
In February 2018, afb Ghana and the Letshego Group celebrated yet another milestone for the Ghana business in disbursing their one-millionth Qwikloan.
Arnold Parker added, “The strong performance of the business was underpinned by effective credit policies, collections and loan recovery policies. At this same platform last year, we expressed our confidence about 2017 and outlined the synergies between Letshego Group’s strengths and Ghana’s growth prospects.
afb Ghana was ideally placed to leverage this potential.
Although we are still in the growth phase of our business, we have already managed to deliver positive profits to the Letshego Group within the first year of operating, post-acquisition.
We look forward to building on this strong foundation and providing Ghana with further choice and options in sustainable financial solutions in the short to medium term.”
afb Ghana’s profit after tax in 2017 increased by 166%, with net impairment allowance reducing by 66% year on year. Total assets increased by 64% and the loan book also grew by 75% as the company remains strongly capitalized.
In outlining the way forward, Arnold Parker reiterated afb Ghana’s continued commitment to robust credit controls, secure digital systems, comprehensive financial compliance and prioritized customer experience – all leveraging the Letshego Group’s investment and regional expertise.
afb Ghana MTN Bonds were listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange three years ago.
In November 2017 the long-term credit ratings of the Company and its Investment Grade Medium Term Notes “bond” programme were reaffirmed as BB+(GH) and BBB+(GH) respectively, with the outlook accorded by Global Credit Rating Company as positive.
The Company’s average cost of funding has declined by 35% over the year, which is in line with the decline of the 182-day T Bill rates. The Company has consequently reduced its lending rates to pass these savings onto our customers.
afb Ghana is a wholly owned subsidiary of Letshego Holdings Limited (“Letshego Group”) and operates as a non-bank financial institution providing innovative financial solutions to public, and private sector individuals, through its 26 physical branch network as well as digital channels.