Picture: Armand Hough/ANA/African News Agency

JOHANNESBURG - South African retail bank Capitec said on Tuesday its headline earnings per share for the year ended February 2018 was up 18 percent to 3,858 cents.

The company declared a final gross dividend of 945 cents per ordinary share on March 26, bringing the total dividends for the 2018 financial year to 1,470 cents per share.

Capitec said headline earnings increased R3.8 billion to R4.5 billion, and generated a return of 27 percent on shareholders’equity for the 2018 financial year.

It said it planned to launch a funeral plan, underwritten by Sanlam, in May 2018, as part of Insure, the new addition to its Global One Solution.

"This is an opportunity to further diversify our business and expand our product offering to clients to improve their financial lives," it said.

Capitec said it remained well capitalised, with a capital adequacy ratio of 36 percent.

"The bank continues to meet all prudential requirements. We have a conservative approach to credit, price appropriately in compliance with the National Credit Act ... for the risk and make adequate provisions for bad debt," it said.

It said its approach to capital was consistent with that to liquidity and credit, and its capital levels were well above requirements.

In January, the bank rejected a report by US researcher Viceroy which accused Capitec of being a "loan shark" which must take significant impairments to its loans.

- African News Agency (ANA)