14/09/2010 Sizwe Nxasana CEO of FirstRand during their results presentation at Sandton JHB. Photo: Leon Nicholas

Banking group FirstRand (FSR)‚ which consists of First National Bank (FNB)‚ Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) and WesBank‚ on Tuesday reported a 26% jump in diluted headline earnings per share for the year ended June 2012 to 226.9 cents.

“Consumer demand remained quite resilient throughout the financial year with household spending on durable goods particularly strong. This demand was underpinned by growth in real disposable income and a gradual increase in the uptake of credit by households‚ particularly unsecured credit. Continued low interest rates provided further support‚” FirstRand said in a JSE Sens statement.

The group reported a 26% rise in normalised earnings at R12.7 billion from the R10.1 billion reported in 2011.

“The most significant driver of earnings was the very strong operational performances from FNB and WesBank‚ both of which showed excellent topline growth. In the case of FNB this was the result of specific strategies to acquire customers‚ grow loans and deposits‚ and drive transactional volumes across all of its platforms‚ particularly electronic‚” the group said.

FirstRand’s profit from continuing operations for the period reached R14.36 billion from 2011’s R14.24 billion.

The group declared a dividend of 102 cents per share‚ a 26% rise from the 81 cents declared in 2011. - I-Net Bridge