Bank of Kigali Group has recorded a net profit worth Rwf28.3 billion in the first half of 2022, representing an increase of 24.5 percent in comparison to the same period last year. In the first half of 2021, the bank had Rwf22.8 billion profit. The lender raked Rwf92.7 billion in net interest income supported by higher income from loans and advances. Diane Karusisi, the Chief Executive of Bank of Kigali, attributed the stellar performance to the post-Covid-19 economic recovery where the country hosted a number of international conferences and businesses in the hospitality sector were able to pay back their loans. The group registered notable performance across all its business lines and its four subsidiaries; Bank of Kigali, BK General Insurance, BK TecHouse and BK Capital, according to a statement. “All our subsidiaries have contributed positively in the first half and we are very optimistic as we move to the second half,” Nathalie Mpaka, BK’s Chief of Finance. The operating costs rose by 32.9 per cent to Rwf36.4 billion mainly driven by the implementation of the co-banking system as part of digital transformation strategy, according to Mpaka. Back to pre-Covid era The bank has seen the cost-to-income ratio going back to pre-Covid range at 40 percent and the target is to maintain it in the short to medium term, she said. Cost-to-income ratio is important for determining the profitability of a bank. A low cost-to-income ratio is a positive development as it indicates that it takes less cost to generate income. However, the lender’s Non-Performing Loans ratio was 5.1 percent, reducing from 6.6 percent in last year. It translated into improved assets quality which means any excess liquidity was invested in treasury bills and bonds, noted Mpaka. Return on Average Assets and Return on Assets Equity reached 3.5 percent and 19.5 percent respectively. Clients’ deposits increased by 19.6 per cent to Rwf1 trillion while net Loans and advances increased by 10.6 percent to slightly Rwf1 trillion. Shareholders’ equity increased by 9.4 percent to Rwf296.5 billion. In bid to increase financial services access, the lender expanded the agency banking network to 3,853 agents who processed over 1.8 Million transactions worth Rwf314.4 million. On subsidiary level, BK Insurance registered a profit of Rwf1.5 billion, representing a 28 per cent growth in profitability when compared to Rwf1.2 billion recorded in the period under review. Its gross premium increased to Rwf4.9 billion up by 21 percent from Rwf4.1 billion, however, The growth was mainly driven by the gross premium which increased from Rwf9.2 billion in the previous year to Rwf12.1 billion in 2021. BK TecHouse registered a sales revenue of Rwf574.4 million, representing a growth rate of 18 per cent when compared to Rwf486.9 million year-on-year. The group’s tech subsidiary has over 2.8 million digital consumers where 2.5 million are from Agri-Tech, 301,000 from Edu-Tech and 13,000 from civil society. Urubuto Pay registered 10.4 billion transactions worth Rwf6.4 million. BK Capital, the youngest subsidiary, recorded a profit before tax of Rwf383 million, a growth of 54 per cent largely driven by a 29 per cent growth in operating income. The growth is attributed to the increased trading on the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE) and sustainable growth in the fund management assets under management. Within the brokerage business, BK Capital increased bond and equity trading due to an overall RSE turnover growth of 157 percent and 250 percent in bond and equity, respectively for the period under review. Launched in 2020, the Aguka Unit Trust Fund also continued to attract new investments, whose net inflow led to a 49.7 percent growth of assets under management for this fund to Rwf26 billion. Commenting on the performance, Béata Habyarimana, CEO of BK Group, said: “Our shareholders and investors will be happy with the sustainability of the group’s results and financial position...we remain focused on delivering higher value for our shareholders and plan to report even better numbers the second half of 2022.” As at the end of June, the bank had 68 branches, 98 ATMs and 3,099 POS terminals that accepted most international cards including VISA and MasterCard. In the first half of 2021, BK Group Plc recorded an after-tax profit of Rwf22.8 billion.