File picture: Jason Boud/ANA

JOHANNESBURG - Nedbank Group Ltd. said first-half earnings rose between 23 percent and 28 percent from a year ago after Ecobank Transnational Inc., the African lender in which it holds a 20 percent stake, returned to profit. 

Earnings per share excluding one-time items increased to between R13.51 and R14.05 in the six months through June from R10.98 a year earlier, Nedbank said in a statement on Thursday.

A full results statement will be published on August 7.

The operations of South Africa’s fourth-largest bank “delivered positive earnings growth in line with our expectations,” it said. Lome, Togo-based Ecobank, one of the continent’s most geographically diverse lenders with businesses in 30 countries, expects profit in 2018 to rise 50 percent after bad-loan charges improved and costs declined. 

“Nedbank Group delivered a strong performance in the first half of 2018 assisted by our share of associate income from ETI as it returned to profitability, while managed operations delivered positive earnings growth in line with our expectations,” the firm said in statement.