Spire Bank has cut down operating losses before tax by 53 percent, from Ksh.1.6 billion in 2017 to Ksh. 746 million in the financial year ending December2018.
The Bank’s operating loss before exceptional items stood at Ksh. 307 million, a 78 percent improvement compared to the previous year. This improvement was driven by the Bank’s decision to focus on loan collections, according to the bank’s report.
The financial services company reports that the main exceptional item was deferred tax assets (Kes. 1.5 billion), which was derecognized in the period under review leading to a higher income tax provision.
“The Bank has 10 years to utilize these derecognized tax provisions against future profits as per the Kenya Revenue Authority rules. As management, we are optimistic the Bank will recover this asset from taxes as it returns to profitability,” said Spire Bank’s Managing Director, Dr. Norman Ambunya.
Dr Ambuya reveals that the Bank is now implementing a new business model, which is expected to turn around its performance to profitability.
On her part, Ms. Teresa Mutegi, Spire Bank chairperson said recapitalization of the business is key to improve the Bank’s performance going forward and ensuring it remains competitive in the industry as well as boost its capital base.
“The shareholders are fast tracking an ongoing recapitalization programme with a strategic investor already identified and the transaction is at an advanced stage,” said Ms. Mutegi.
“As part of the programme Mwalimu National Holdings Limited is in the process of buying out the minority shareholder. The board remains optimistic for a return to profitability and a continuation of the business’ internal capital generating ability going forward.”
However, the process is subject to regulatory approval.
Dr. Ambunya noted that during the period under review the Bank saw positive returns from its aggressive loan collection strategy and cost containment, which led to gains. This is expected to continue into this financial year.
“Our focus on customers as well as diversifying our business model and containing costs will be key to turning around this business into profitability. In the current financial year we will be investing in technology channels and capitalizing on new growth areas,” said Dr. Ambunya.