Equity Group Holdings' net profit dropped 8 percent to Kes 37.5 billion in the full year ending December 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.

The lender has attributed the drop to an interest expense increase, outpacing the interest income growth.

As a result, Equity has recommended a dividend of Kes 15.1 billion for the second consecutive year.

The company showed strong momentum in certain areas, such as net interest and non-funded income, which grew.

“The Kes 4 per share dividend amounts to a 36% payout of the Kes 43.7 billion Profit After Tax or Kes 11.1 earnings per share and dividend yield of 11.9% on the 2023 year-end closing share price of Kes 33.65 or 800% on par value,” James Mwangi, Equity Group Managing Director, and CEO said.

However, total costs increased primarily due to substantial loan loss provisions to strengthen asset quality buffers.

Additionally, other operating expenses and staff costs increased due to high inflation and the depreciation of the Kenyan shilling.

The Group said its business remained resilient despite facing multiple challenges, such as interest capping, the COVID-19 pandemic, global supply chain disruptions, and macroeconomic headwinds over the past seven years.