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Atlas Mara Limited 2018 Interim Results

September 5, 2018

Atlas Mara Limited Interim Results ‐ Six Months Ended 30 June 2018TORTOLA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS / ACCESSWIRE / September 5, 2018 / Atlas Mara Limited ("Atlas Mara" or the "Company" and, including its subsidiaries, the "Group"),

Atlas Mara Limited Interim Results ‐ Six Months Ended 30 June 2018

TORTOLA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS / ACCESSWIRE / September 5, 2018 / Atlas Mara Limited (“Atlas Mara” or the “Company” and, including its subsidiaries, the “Group”), (LSE:ATMA) the sub-Saharan Africa financial services group, today publishes its reviewed results for the six months ended 30 June 2018.

Key highlights for the period:

Atlas Mara reported profit after tax of $28.6 million (2017: $11.5 million). Completed the transaction to acquire an additional stake in Union Bank of Nigeria Plc (UBN) to take Atlas Mara’s effective shareholding to ca. 49%. UBN continued to demonstrate ongoing business improvements and contributed $17.4 million (2017: $8.7 million) of net income to Atlas Mara’s results. A notable improvement has been the positive reduction in UBN’s NPL ratio to 10.8% due to the ongoing efforts on non-performing loan recoveries and credit risk management. Atlas Mara hired key resources at centre and in subsidiaries to enhance management capacity.

Financial highlights during the period

Reported net profit after tax for the first half of 2018 was $28.6 million compared to $11.5 million for the prior year period, reflecting the improved performance of UBN, the company’s associate investment. While costs increased 3.3%, this was below the rate of inflation in our main markets of operation. Non‐interest income (NIR), largely driven by the Markets and Treasury business, increased by 1.1% on a constant currency (ccy) basis. Loan impairment charges of $4.3 million represent an improvement of 57.8% on a ccy basis year on year. Loans and advances were $1.28 billion at 30 June 2018. The loan book declined by 1.2% in ccy terms year on year reflecting the impact of the IFRS 9 implementation and muted growth in the loan books. Non-performing loans (NPLs) decreased to $166 million from $169 million; however, as a percentage of the loan book, NPLs increased to 12.9% (June 2017: 12.0%), primarily due to the impact of the reduction in the total loan balance. Deposits were $1.91 billion at 30 June 2018, representing growth of 3.9% on a ccy basis since June 2017. Equity as at June 2018 is $776.2 million (December 2017: $ 813.2 million), reflecting the net impact of the profit contribution for the half year, the negative impact of IFRS 9, and the negative FX translation impact from converting our investments, which are made in local currency, into US dollars as reporting currency over H1 2018. Reflecting the IFRS 9 and FX translation impacts, at the end of June 2018 our book value was $4.48 per share (December 2017: $4.77) and our tangible book value was $3.49 per share (December 2017: $ 3.87).

Key operational highlights during the period

Launched a deposit drive across Retail, Corporate and Institutional segments across the franchises to lower the cost of funds and generate sustained funding for balance sheet growth. In Botswana, successfully renegotiated, for a 3 year period, Retail savings and loans schemes with the key employee unions and signed a contract to provide prepaid Pula cards to Public employees. Launched an online cash management solution for SME and Corporate clients in Mozambique, and saw continued growth in Agency banking which now has 160 agents and 30,000 new accounts of which more than 20,000 were acquired in the first half of 2018. Continued to grow our presence in the corporate market in Rwanda, through our participation in a $50 million syndicated loan for a large MNO (our share is $11 million) for infrastructure expansion and modernisation, as well as through a $5 million facility to a corporate client contracted to construct a new airport and another $5 million pre-export value chain financing for the country’s leading coffee exporter. Evident signs of recovery in our Markets and Treasury business as volumes slowly pick up after the sharp contractions experienced in the previous year, reflecting macro factors and our own initiatives. Facilitating financial inclusion in Zambia where the subsidiary is soon to launch a mobile money proposition for the currently unbanked which will be available in seven local languages and will allow clients to save and borrow digitally. Increased public sector lending business during the period with lines for the energy services provider for infrastructure development in Zambia, while continuing to explore other public sector initiatives for financing highways, road network and Agricultural subsidy finance. Introducing supply chain financing credit enhanced accounts payable product in Zimbabwe to facilitate trade flows and enhance our position in trade finance. We also introduced a new Agricultural Unit to take advantage of nascent growth in the Agricultural sector which is a major contributor to the country’s GDP. Raised $40 million for the second tranche of the road infrastructure programme through our Markets and Treasury unit in Zimbabwe. UBN’s financial performance improved across a number of key metrics from FY 2017 to H1 2018 as well as over the same period last year. Return on Tangible Equity was up at 10.4% for the first six months of 2018, supported by profit after tax growth of 25% over the same period last year. During the course of the first six months of 2018, UBN also focused on improving fee and other non-interest income to offset the impact of declining asset yields in Nigeria.

Key events since period end

On 6 August 2018, the Group announced that it has reached agreement in principle for a $40M Debt Facility (the “New Debt Facility”). This New Debt Facility will replace the convertible bond (the “April Convertible”) issued to Fairfax Africa Holdings Corporation (“Fairfax Africa”), the Company’s largest shareholder, as previously announced on 24 April 2018. Completion of the New Debt Facility remains subject to customary conditions for transactions of this nature. Proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, including replacing the April Convertible, and supporting broader business growth and operations.

H1 Results Review ‐ Investor Conference Call

Atlas Mara’s Senior Management will today be holding a conference call for investors at 10am EST / 3pm BST.

There will be a presentation available in the Investor Relations section of the Company’s website, http://atlasmara.com.

Dial‐in details are as follows:

United States: +1 (631) 913 1422

United Kingdom: +44 3333000804

Participant PIN Code: 39935625#

Contacts

Investors

Kojo Dufu, +1 212 883 4330

Media

Teneo Blue Rubicon

Anthony Silverman, +44 (0)207 4203142

To view the full announcement, please click on the following link.

http://www.rns-pdf.londonstockexchange.com/rns/8132Z_1-2018-9-5.pdf

SOURCE: Atlas Mara

https://www.accesswire.com/511323/Atlas-Mara-Limited-2018-Interim-Results
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