CRDB Burundi climbs to second position

CRDB Bank Burundi has climbed the banking sector ladder to become the second-largest lender in Bujumbura.

The subsidiary was in the third slot based on the 2021 financial statement but it rose to the second position last year just ten years after entering the Burundi market.

CRDB Group Chairman Dr Ally Laay said it took just two years to break even in the Burundi market after entering the country in 2012.

“Our goal is to become the number one bank in Bujumbura…,” Dr Laay told the bank’s shareholders in the recent Annual General Meeting in Arusha.

“Group continued to bolster its Burundi subsidiary, which led to better performance and the biggest profit recorded since its establishment a decade ago,” he said.

The Burundi subsidiary’s post-tax profit has increased by 79.7pert cent from 12.8bn/- in 2021 to 23bn/- last year.

The profit contributed 7.0 per cent of the CRDB Group’s profit.

The Group secured a net profit increase of 31 per cent to 351.4bn/- last year compared to 268.2bn/- in 2021.

CRDB Burundi Managing Director, Fredrick Siwale said in line with the medium-term strategy for 2018 – 2022, the bank targeted to sustainably grow its balance sheet, with a view of increasing value to shareholders.

“The growth in profitability is attributed to an increase in income resulting from the strategic initiatives undertaken during the year,” Mr Siwale said.

During the year under review, CRDB Burundi continued to implement various strategic initiatives to grow the balance sheet with a focus on earning assets.

Total assets increased by 54 per cent from 551.1bn/- in 2021 to 850.4bn/- last year.

“Our main aim was to safeguard the business while pursuing fresh and creative ways to expand by taking advantage of new market opportunities.

“The excellent results recorded for the year demonstrate that the strategy was effective,” the Burundi Managing Director said.

Looking back, Mr Siwale said, the year was marked by various challenges that were aggravated by high inflation, skyrocketing commodity prices, and interruptions in the global supply chain brought on by Russia’s conflict in Ukraine.

The interruptions caused Burundi, like many other developing economies, to face a variety of challenges.

“The local factors, such as the lack of foreign cash and other difficulties, further complicated the situation,” he said.

CRDB Burundi’s interest income grew by 51per cent from 38.2bn/- in 2021 to 57.7bn/- last year.

Total deposits grew by 62 per cent from 324.3bn/- in 2021 to 524.2bn/- last year. Loans and advances grew by 58.4 per cent from 137bn/- to 346.7bn/- on account of growth in loans.

Additionally, net fees and commission income increased by 48per cent from 2.5bn/- in 2021 to 3.7bn/- last year.

“Based on the progress we have made over the last five years,” Mr Siwale said, “the bank has a promising view for 2023 and beyond.”

The CRDB Burundi said the growth path is clear after addressing the significant operational and performance gaps, including legacy challenges.

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