New Telegraph Nigerian Newspaper –
Atlas Mara Ltd., which was co-founded by former Barclays Plc Chief Executive Officer, Bob Diamond, has said third-quarter earnings dropped 44 per cent because of falling currencies.
The company, which invests in African banks including Union Bank of Nigeria Plc , has lost more than 73 per cent of its value since an initial public offering in December 2013. It started a cost-cutting exercise earlier this year as expenses engulfed income and threatened its ability to grow by acquisition. With operations in seven African countries, Atlas Mara needs five to seven years to build its business on the continent, Diamond said in an interview in September.
Net income for the period through September was $4 million compared with $7.1 million a year earlier, the company, incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and traded in London, said in a statement on yesterday.
Expenses rose 19 per cent because of acquisitions, while total income increased 15 per cent. The bank reported a $5.2 million adverse currency impact, while non-performing loans as a percentage of the loan book were 15 per cent.
“Although uncertainty around the economic environment, exchange rates and monetary policies in our markets make near term forecasts difficult, we expect the improving operational momentum” to continue, Atlas Mara said in the statement.
Deposits rose 32 per cent on a constant currency basis and loans extended during the period increased 23 per cent, while costs excluding acquisitions increased 6.5 per cent, the company said.