Zanaco Plc has posted increased profits of nearly K184 million in its 2018 financial year, mainly driven by higher income from net loans and advances, the bank’s results show.

According to its audited financial year results for the period ending December 31, 2018, Zanaco’s profits soared to K183.7 million after tax, up from K114.1 million recorded during the corresponding period in 2017, mainly driven by increased earnings from net loans and advances to customers last year, which helped contribute nearly K1 billion to the bank’s balance sheet.

The increased profits represent a 61 per cent improvement from the prior corresponding period.

“The Bank recorded a 61 per cent increase in the profit for the year from K114 million in 2017 to K184 million in 2018. The strong performance of the Bank is on the backdrop of a strong balance sheet. Net loans and advances increased from K3,223.1 million to K4,207 million representing a 30.5 per cent increase,” Zanaco stated in its results released, Thursday.

“The associated credit impairments significantly improved from a charge to profit and loss in the prior year of K248 million to a relief of K17 million in 2018. This is attributable to the Bank’s focus on enhanced recoveries, but also ensuring that quality assets are booked.”

Other assets that helped strengthen Zanaco’s balance sheet were investment securities, which climbed to K3.2 billion last year compared to K3.1 billion in 2017, while property and equipment jumped to hit nearly K400 million in 2018 from K269.4 million during the prior corresponding period under review.

Zanaco’s total assets increased to K10.6 billion last year from K9.5 billion in 2017.

However, the bank’s total income remained broadly unchanged from K1.438 billion in 2017 to K1.436 billion in 2018.

Meanwhile, Zanaco stated that it lost an estimated K60 million brought about by the Bank of Zambia’s (BoZ) fees on commercial banks’ unwarranted charges that were introduced last September.