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BRAC Bank sees highest-ever profit in 2023

Board also recommends the highest dividends in 6yrs
Staff Correspondent
03 Apr 2024 21:22:31 | Update: 03 Apr 2024 21:53:56
BRAC Bank sees highest-ever profit in 2023

BRAC Bank PLC has reported 35 per cent growth in profit, crossing Tk 800 crore, for the year ending on December 31, 2023, which is the highest-ever profit in the company’s history.

The remarkable profit is thanks to the bank’s focus on small and medium enterprises (SME) and technology-based customer services, which added more than 3,60,000 new customers.

Meanwhile, the bank’s Board of Directors recommended 10 per cent cash and 10 per cent stock dividends for 2023, the highest since 2017 when the bank paid 25 per cent stock dividends, as per the official disclosure released on Wednesday.

The publicly traded bank’s net profit rose to Tk 827 crore last year, which was Tk 612 crore the year before, according to the annual financial statement.

Its consolidated earnings per share (EPS) were Tk 4.73 last year, which was Tk 3.75 in 2022.

To approve the dividend and the financial statement, the bank will hold the Annual General Meeting on May 30, and the record date is May 7.

The company’s net asset value (NAV) per share stood at Tk 41.36 and net operating cash flow per share (NOCFPS) at Tk 40.76 for the year ending on December 31, 2023, compared to Tk 38.03 and Tk 23.39, respectively, for 2022.

BRAC Bank Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Selim RF Hussain said the average customer deposit growth in the market was 11 per cent and the bank achieved a 34 per cent growth in 2023.

The average market loan growth was hovering between 10 and 11 per cent in the calendar year but BRAC Bank saw a 34 per cent increase in loans.

Moreover, the lender saw the number of customers increase by 3,60,000 in 2023. "As our highest focus is on the SME sector, this sector saw maximum growth last year,” Selim said.

People have faith in the services provided by BRAC Bank because of multiple factors, including overall governance, banking practices and regulatory compliance, he added.

In the last year, the bank’s board decided to invest in establishing a private digital bank. The proposed bank, named “bKash Digital Bank PLC”, will be established subject to the approval of Bangladesh Bank, according to Monday’s stock exchange filing.

However, the bank did not disclose the investment amount or how much stake will be held in the proposed digital bank.

BRAC Bank also approved its half-yearly financial statement for the January-June period of 2023.

Its consolidated earnings per share jumped 58 per cent to Tk 1.03 in the April-June quarter of 2023, up from Tk 0.65 in the same quarter of 2022.

The bank’s half-yearly EPS also rose 41 per cent year-on-year to Tk 1.93 for January-June of 2023.

Meanwhile, bKash Limited, the country’s top mobile financial services (MFS) provider and the subsidiary of BRAC Bank, returned to profit in the first six months (January-June) of 2023.

bKash posted Tk 38.22 crore in profits in the first half of 2023, against a hefty loss of Tk 42.46 crore during the same period of 2022, according to the company's unaudited half-yearly financial statements.

After bracing for losses in the previous three years, bKash returned to profit in 2022. It posted Tk 17.21 crore in net profit in 2022, against a hefty loss of Tk 123 crore in 2021.

The leading MFS provider has been suffering consistent losses since 2019, with a loss of Tk 67 crore in 2020 and Tk 62.51 crore in 2019.

Listed on the Dhaka Stock Exchange in 2007, BRAC Bank shares closed at Tk 40.10 per share on the bourse’s trading floor on Wednesday.