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Atlas Mara's 9-month profit rises YOY

Sub-Saharan Africa-focused financial services group Atlas Mara Ltd. reported profit attributable to shareholders of $30.6 million for the first nine months of 2018, up from $15.8 million in the same period a year ago.

Total income fell on a yearly basis to $176.0 million from $189.0 million, while operating expenses rose to $170.9 million from $157.2 million.

Atlas Mara also booked a loan impairment charge of $4.5 million, down from $19.4 million in the first nine months of 2017.

The net interest margin stood at 3.2% during the period, down from 5.3% a year ago.

The nonperforming loan ratio stood at 11.9% of the loan book as of Sept. 30, up from 11.1% a year ago and from 11.8% in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Atlas Mara's third-quarter net profit amounted to $2.0 million. Union Bank of Nigeria PLC, in which Atlas Mara holds a 49% stake, contributed associate income of $4.8 million for the third quarter and $41.4 million for the year to Sept. 30.

Atlas Mara said it expects the prevailing challenges in the macroeconomic environment to continue through the fourth quarter, which is likely to result in muted operational growth. Full-year results are expected to exceed the reported $30.6 million year-to-date profit.

Th group also noted that unit ABC Holdings Ltd. on Dec. 13 completed the partial IPO of BancABC Botswana on the Botswana Stock Exchange, selling 20.5% to institutional and retail investors. The offering raised $28 million in gross proceeds at a multiple of 1.5x book value as of June 30.