Improvements in several overseas territories of Republic Financial Holdings Ltd (RFHL) were responsible for the group’s $1.25 billion profit for the year ended September 30.
This was announced on Thursday by RFHL chairman Ronald Harford in a statement about the group’s end-of-year performance.
Harford said HFC Bank (Ghana) recorded a profit after taxation of $40 million, after a loss of $118 million in 2016, while RFHL’s profitability increased by $12 million in Cayman and by $11 million in Suriname.
The $1.25 billion in net profit attributable to shareholders represents an increase of $69 million, or 5.8 per cent over the core profit of $1.18 billion in the previous financial year.
“Compared with the actual reported profit of $946 million for 2016, which was negatively impacted by three significant one-off items, totalling $237 million, the increase is $306 million, or 32.3 per cent. The group’s total assets stood at $68.9 billion at September 30, 2017, an increase of $2 billion or three per cent over that of 2016,” the company said.
The board has declared a final dividend of $3.15 (2016: $3.10), which brings the total dividend for the fiscal year to $4.40 (in total $714.6 million) compared with $4.35 for 2016 (in total $705.8 million).
This final dividend, which represents a pay-out ratio of 57.1 per cent (2016: 74.6 per cent), will be paid on December 4, 2017 to all shareholders of record on November 20, 2017. This represents a dividend yield of 4.3 per cent.
Republic Bank TT is a subsidiary of RFHL. Harford said its performance remained relatively flat in 2017 because of the additional tax expense of $55 million. The economic outlook for the region, he said, offers a mix of opportunities for, and challenges to, the Republic Group.
“Energy and commodity prices are expected to remain at their existing levels which, combined with stagnant or declining production levels, will constrain economic growth in our largest market, TT. Conversely, other commodity-exporting territories such as Guyana and to a lesser extent, Suriname and Ghana, are being buoyed by new finds and expanded productions in oil, gas and gold mining.”