THE banking unit of Zimbabwe largest mobile phone operator, Econet Wireless has recorded its first ever after tax profit of US$1,8 million in the six months to August from a loss of US$3,6 million recorded during the same period last year driven by growth in interest income and cost cuts, the company reported on Thursday.
Steward Bank’s interest income leapt to US$5,3 million from US$2,8 million last year while operating costs dropped to US$9,1 million from US$16,6 million after job cuts.
Steward anchors Econet Wireless’ overlay services which registered a strong growth during the same period under review.
“Our costs also retreated 38% compared to the same period last year following significant cost cutting initiatives undertaken in the first half as we aim to build a low cost structure supported by efficient digitalised channels,” chairman Oluwatomisin Fashina said in statement accompanying the unaudited financial results.
“Significant progress has also been made in cleaning up our non-performing loans (NPL), a result of which our NPL ratio came down from 37,8% to 13,1%.”
In 2013, Econet rebranded TN Bank to Steward Bank following its takeover.-Staff Reporter