Absa loses market share. Eyeing Ethiopia, a market of 100 million people

The Absa logo. Picture: Supplied

Absa’s headline earnings fell 1% in the year ending on 31 December 2018, when including the R3.2 billion cost of separating from Barclays.

It announced a final dividend of R11.10 a share, which is 4% more than in 2017.

Headline earning per share (also when taking the cost of separating from Barclays into account) fell to 1,703.7 cents from 1,724.5 cents the year before.

Costs rose 8% and return on equity fell 13.4%.

Absa’s retail offering - which has lost market share over the past few years - contributes more than 50% of its revenue.

The bank’s business outside of South Africa grew its earnings by 9%.

Absa has its eye on Ethiopia, a market of 100 million people where the reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed may soon open the banking sector up to foreign ownership.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Jason Quinn, Financial Director at Absa.

Listen to the interview in the audio below (and scroll down for quotes from it).

…We’re very focussed…

Jason Quinn, Financial Director - Absa

…green shoots, momentum building in our lending book…

Jason Quinn, Financial Director - Absa

…The separation was an inflexion point for our company… The separation is progressing well… They are shareholders, at 15%... They can’t sell down much further…

Jason Quinn, Financial Director - Absa

We did caution with respect to the first half of this year… a little bit cautious about the outlook for the South African economy…

Jason Quinn, Financial Director - Absa

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