Our societal responsibility is at the heart of our growth model and our corporate strategy. We are committed to greater transparency and relevance of our actions to our stakeholders.
More than ever, in an unprecedented crisis, our goal of maintaining quality of service to our customers remains a priority. We continue to explore opportunities for entry into carefully selected markets with good growth perspectives. Our teams continue their efforts to achieve a satisfactory result for our shareholders.
Vincent LE GUENNOU
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Orabank Group
As an economic actor, the Group is fully aware of its responsibility for the current challenges of sustainable development, and is committed to a Corporate Social Responsibility approach that enables it to participate in the responsible economic development of the countries in which it operates, while ensuring the overall performance of the Group.
Ferdinand NGON KEMOUM
CEO of Orabank Group
Message from the Chair of the Board of Directors
Our Values for Growth
The world is facing a pandemic of unprecedented magnitude, leading to both a health and economic crisis, and we must ensure our resilience in a more chaotic and challenging environment. The health crisis COVID-19 remains the event that could have an impact on the group’s performance and we are preparing to limit, as far as possible, the effects of this crisis on our activities, with the support of the central banks and certain states in our areas of presence. In response to COVID-19, the group took the necessary measures very quickly to continue to serve our customers while ensuring their safety and that of our employees, in accordance with the recommendations of the authorities.
The Orabank Group has experienced remarkable growth with a potential for economic growth in all its countries of presence, notably in Côte d’Ivoire, due, inter alia, to the low bank penetration in the region and the dynamism of the Group which is able to respond as closely as possible to market demands. Orabank presents an integrated model with the adoption by all the Group’s subsidiaries of a single banking operating system that strengthens the efficiency and performance of the entities. The Group has a decentralized decision-making process that ensures both effective control and responsiveness of our subsidiaries. Moreover, opportunities for development through external growth through acquisitions, particularly in Central Africa (Cameroon, Congo) are emerging and are supported by external sources of financing. Oragroup is also a large fundraising capability, embodied in several operations in recent years: the 2013 bond loan, the recent issuance of cash notes (in September 2016 and May 2017) and, of course, the 100% public offer to sell at the end of 2018.
For the Orabank Group, 2019 marks a turning point, following its introduction into the regional stock market (BRVM). The results for 2019 are very satisfactory for all its activities. They are characterized by a dynamic of growth resulting from the performance of the business lines and the organization set up and provide a solid basis for pursuing our objectives in a context now marked by the health crisis. We are honored with a recognition from the AFRICAN BANKER AWARD which ranks Orabank as the best regional bank in West Africa for the third time after the awards in 2015 and 2017.
The Group closes the financial year 2019, with a total balance sheet of 2,634 billion FCFA, an increase of 22% compared to 31 December 2018, a net result growing by 47%, a network of 157 dedicated agencies and points of sale and 2015 employees. Net Banking Product of the group amounts to 147 billion FCFA, an increase of 16% compared to 2018. This evolution shows the good performance noted on all revenue lines. The increase in overhead costs of 9.6% compared to 2018 is due to the strengthening of our teams from 1,853 employees at the end of 2018 to 2,015 in 2019 and the expansion of our network of agencies from 146 in 2018 to 157 in 2019. Our operating coefficient improved markedly from 72.2% in 2018 to 68.2% in 2019. The net cost of the risk is up 26% and is due to the delay in recoveries that are expected to result in recoveries of provisions on almost all subsidiaries.
The net result rose by 47% to 18.3 billion FCFA (compared to 12.5 billion in 2018). The mobilization of deposits is an ongoing priority for the Orabank Group, with a particular focus on low-paid resources. With a growth rate of 25% compared to 2018, we achieved a good performance in 2019 by collecting more than 360 billion FCFA new resources after the 335 billion mobilized in 2018. Net credit to customers rose by 13% compared to December 2018, with close to 160 billion net repayments of direct credit to the economy for all our countries of presence. We have made capital increases for subsidiaries in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire and Chad. The capital increase in Chad is awaiting the validation of the regulator.
As the current health crisis has a serious impact on economic activity, the outlook for 2020 will be highly impacted, and the situation resulting from this crisis remains a major source of uncertainty. It has already resulted in a sharp decline in activity in all countries. The short-term outlook will thus be influenced by the responses of central banks and governments to several major challenges. In the long run, the growth potential of our markets remains high. Economic policies will need to find ways to finance growth that maintain a sustainable level of leverage. Stronger mobilization of domestic savings, locally invested capital, and increased intra-African trade appear to be credible avenues. In this context, the group notes uncertainty due to the slowdown in activities and anticipates that growth may decline in 2020. Our goal of maintaining high levels of customer service remains a priority. We continue to explore opportunities for entry into carefully selected markets with good growth prospects. Despite a challenging environment, our teams continue to strive to achieve a satisfactory result for our shareholders in strict cost discipline and rigorous risk management.
The Board of Directors, which I have the honour to chair, thanks the Board members for their guidance and support, and all employees for the efforts they are all making together to achieve these great advances that will enable us to develop our future banking group in a sustainable way.
Message from the CEO
Consciousness and responsibility as a lever of performance
The year 2019 has dedicated our best growth strategy over 10 years, with ever-increasing activities, improved performance and profitability. This financial development has also been supported by the strengthening of our teams and the development of our network of agencies to ensure that we are closer to our clients and partners who are our purpose. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their continued confidence, not to mention our teams who serve them on a daily basis with professionalism, rigor and responsiveness. With our 2019 results, we are confident and confident that we will continue our vision of building a leading banking group that will contribute to financing the sustainable development of an emerging Africa. The global pandemic at COVID-19 will force us to do more, but it also strengthens our determination to move forward.
In terms of resource mobilization, we continue our policy of diversifying the base of our customer deposits while remaining resolutely open to the resource opportunities offered by multilateral institutional players and at the same time being a regular issuer in the capital markets of our countries of presence.
As regards the financing of our clients, we want to remain selective on the quality of our commitments and at the same time innovative in our procedures and accompanying modalities. As a committed player in the development of Africa, we will be actively involved in finding solutions that will enable SMEs in our countries to cope with the consequences of the Pandemic in COVID-19.
For the Orabank Group, it is through digital technology that we will be able to accelerate the banking and financial inclusion of Africa. We are adopting new applications with the desire to transform our value proposition. The deployment of the digitalization strategy allows us to reach a wider target while diversifying our sources of revenue. In the sub-Saharan region, we can expect a major surge in financialization via mobile. We position ourselves on this new customer segment with more suitable products. In July 2019, we launched the second phase of the Digital Financial Services (DFS) project. This phase of the project will enable us to offer our clients innovative products tailored to their needs and contribute positively to the transformation of the economies of our countries of presence.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is at the heart of our business, and our group is working to create integrated value, not only for our performance in terms of financial results but also integrating the nature of the resources committed to achieving these results and the impact of these on our stakeholders and society in general. We continue to mobilize all employees around these objectives while welcoming their commitment to serving our clients and supporting the development of our activities. We set specific goals for our societal contribution to Africa that you can discover in this integrated 2019 report that outlines our commitments and results in support of the UN-SDGs.