HomeBusinessAtlas Mara seeks to expand Africa growth

Atlas Mara seeks to expand Africa growth

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Harare — John Vitalo, financial services group Atlas Mara’s chief executive officer, said the Africa-focused group is eyeing even more acquisition opportunities in the region as it seeks to improve its footing on the continent through organic growth.

The Robert Diamond-fronted financial services group on Wednesday said it incurred a $63,1 million loss during the 13-month period to the end of December 2014.

However, it posted a $7,2 million net profit, excluding non-recurring transaction and intergration expenses for its operations which now encompass the former African Banking Corporation.

The group said the long-term outlook for the Africa region – which it views as lucrative for new investors in the banking industry – remains positive, with gross domestic product growth rates in the countries where it operates “expected to markedly exceed developed markets economic growth forecasts”.

.After buying into the ABC group in 2013, Atlas Mara now has a presence in markets such as Zimbabwe and Botswana among others.

It now owns the BancABC units previously controlled by ABC.

During the period, Atlas Mara raised $625 million in equity capital through an initial public offering and a subsequent private placement.

It made acquisitions in three African groups – ADC, ABC, BRD – and bagged another 30,2% in Union Bank of Nigeria, boosting its presence on the continent.

In December 2014, Atlas Mara injected $27 million into BancABC and an additional $73 million towards the end of the reporting period.

However, as a result of the $63,1 million statutory loss, the group did not declare a dividend for the period to end-December 2014.

“In connection with our acquisition-orientated strategy, we may seek external financing during the course of 2015, remaining, at all times, cognisant of our cost of capital and desire to deliver strong returns to shareholders,” Atlas Mara said in its financial results statement.-Fin24

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