I&M Bank Rwanda’s net profit rises to Rwf10.7 billion

By Wycliffe Nyamasege
On 22 March 2024 at 11:49

I&M Bank Rwanda’s net profit for the year ending December 31, 2023, increased by 15 per cent, largely driven by growth across all business segments.

In audited financial results announced on Friday, March 22, 2024, the bank disclosed that its profit after tax rose to Rwf10.7 billion from Rwf9.3 billion in 2022 with the headline earnings rising by 18 per cent to hit Rwf46.7 billion.

The financial results show that I&M Bank Rwanda’s net interest income grew by 10 per cent, primarily fueled by improved margins on interest-earning assets, particularly in the loan portfolio and investment securities which grew by 35 per cent and 7 per cent respectively.

Further, fees and commission income rose 23 per cent year-on-year driven by the rise in digital transactions. The bank’s investment in enhancing the customers’ digital experience also paid off, leading to the significant revenue increase from payments.

Foreign currency trading profits increased by 74 per cent year-over-year, helped by a higher volume of foreign exchange transactions.

Additionally, the bank recorded gains of Rwf8.4 billion on investment securities, compared to Rwf5.5 billion in the preceding period.

Benjamin Mutimura, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), attributed the strong performance to strong customer relationships, dedicated staff and strategic partnerships, which bore desired results.

“Despite a changing environment, we achieved strong financial results, credited to strong customer relationships and our dedicated staff. We’re committed to being a trusted financial partner, leading digital transformation in Rwanda with innovative propositions like the ’Agiserera’ and ’Iyubake’ campaigns to drive growth for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs),” the CEO said.

“Additionally, the Bank entered a strategic partnership with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) to enhance the growth and resilience of MSMEs in Rwanda. Through this innovative Portfolio Guarantee Agreement, the Bank will provide a financial safety net for MSMEs, covering up to 70 percent of their financing needs, enabling our customers to borrow up to Rwf 350 million without requiring any collateral. Our online onboarding and Irembo Government service payments have supported economic recovery,” he added, further expressing his optimism about the bank’s outlook for 2024.

Operating expenses

The bank’s, operating expenses increased by 18 per cent with the bank attributing the rise to investment in the locals. The bank recorded 17 percent increase on staff costs year on year from human capital development and cost of living adjustments.

Other operating expenses rose by 24 per cent driven largely by enhancement of technological customer facing platforms to improve operational resilience and customer satisfaction.

Impairment charges went down by 17 percent despite loan book expansion, attributed to successful recoveries. This, the bank said, reduced the cost of risk on gross loans and advances to 94 percent basis point from 1.61 percent, indicating improved asset quality.

The bank also posted an impressive 35 per cent growth on the loan portfolio on the year under review.

Additionally, the bank recorded a 51 per cent growth in deposit base to hit Frw539 billion.

Similarly, shareholders’ funds soared by 10 per cent with the bank attributing the gains to a strong 17 per cent increase in retained earnings which stood at Frw55.6 billion as of December 31, 2024.

Owing to the good performance, the bank’s earnings per share increased by 15 per cent to Rwf7.06 compared to the previous year. Consequently, the Board of Directors has recommended a dividend payout of Frw1.41 per share, pending approval by shareholders at the next Annual General Meeting.