Ecobank Profit Drops as Slump in African Economies Hits Revenue

Ecobank Transnational Inc., Africa’s most geographically diverse lender, said full-year revenue growth will be lower than expected after lower oil prices and weaker currencies hurt economies across the continent.

There were also higher impairment charges in the fourth quarter, which will result in full-year profit for 2015 being lower than earnings in the first nine months of the year in dollar terms, the Togo-based bank said in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday.

Ecobank’s main operations are in West Africa, particularly Nigeria, the continent’s biggest oil producer, which has been hurt by the plummeting price of crude and the weakening of the naira. Growth in Nigeria slowed to 2.8 percent last year, the weakest level since 1999 and down from 6.2 percent recorded in 2014. After expanding into more than 30 African countries in the past decade, Ecobank has said it’s time to consolidate its holdings.

Ecobank plunged 5 percent to 17.11 naira as of 10:46 a.m. in Lagos, its biggest decline in almost three months. The company on Oct. 27 said profit declined to $305.7 million in the nine months through September, compared with $322.1 million in the year earlier period.


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