JOHANNESBURG - Banking group FirstRand said on Thursday its basic and diluted headline earnings per share rose 12 percent to 472.7 cents in the year ended June and announced a dividend of 275 cents per ordinary share, up eight percent from last year.
FirstRand, whose portfolio of integrated financial services businesses comprises FNB, RMB, WesBank, Aldermore and Ashburton Investments, reported a four percent increase to 8.15 million in customers.
"Despite a very challenging macroeconomic environment, especially in the first half of the financial year, FirstRand’s portfolio of businesses once again produced quality topline growth and a superior return on equity," CEO Alan Pullinger said.
"Whilst WesBank had a tough year in a sector experiencing increased competition and declining volumes, posting a decrease in earnings of nine percent, FNB delivered excellent earnings growth of 16 percent. This was driven by good growth in customers, volumes, advances and deposits, and successful cross-sell strategies."
FirstRand noted that the election of Cyril Ramaphosa last December to lead the ruling ANC had seen sentiment and markets stage a recovery, with the outlook for South Africa remaining more positive than it had been for some time.