BEIJING—For the world’s best sprinters, passing the baton in the 4x400 relay is about as easy as rolling out of bed in the morning.
Picking a winner in that race used to be easy, too.
First Citizens chairman Nyree Alphonso is confident the Group will enjoy sustained growth and profitability through the current fiscal year after it recorded an after tax profit of $320.8 million for the six month period ended March 31. This week the directors of the First Citizens Group announced another half year of consistent earnings with a 4.7 per cent increase in profit after tax compared to the corresponding period last year.
Commenting on the Group’s latest financial results, Alphonso said: “Year on year we experienced loan growth of 3.1 per cent to $11.6 billion, while total assets as at March 2014 amounted to $35.8 billion, which is consistent with the prior year. “The reduction in investments to $12.2 billion was mainly due to a lack of investment opportunities and in part a strategic decision to reduce the volatility in the portfolio.”
Alphonso said First Citizen’s half year performance was particularly noteworthy because of current market conditions marked by a contraction in business lending, high liquidity and low interest rates. She added: “In light of the early signs of economic recovery and the Group’s ongoing focus on risk management, operational efficiency and stakeholder engagement, the directors and management remain confident of sustained growth and profitability for fiscal 2014.
On the basis of these results, an interim dividend of 57 cents per ordinary share will be paid to shareholders on May 29.
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