Atlas Mara profits plunge but Bob Diamond's venture positive on rest of 2016

 
Hayley Kirton
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Bob Diamond co-founded the company in 2013 (Source: Getty)

Atlas Mara announced today it was feeling positive about the rest of 2016, even though it reported a drastic drop in profits year-on-year.

The figures

The financial services company, which focuses its efforts on banking in Africa, reported net profit after tax of $1.2m (£0.9m) for the first half of 2016, down 70.7 per cent on the $4.1m profit reported the year before.

Atlas Mara also announced total income had increased to $113.5m, up 14.9 per cent from $98.8m, but total expenses, excluding one-offs, had ballooned to $104.1m, up 32.1 per cent from $78.8m.

Shares in the company are trading down 3.5 per cent at $3.00.

Why it's important

The firm, which was co-founded by Bob Diamond in 2013, blamed sliding African currencies and a poor economic backdrop for the fall in profits.

As a result of the not so great business environment, the company has had to make some difficult choices about how to cut costs. The company stated it expected to slash staff numbers by around a third in its shared services and centre units.

However, the company has decided to remain upbeat. The results statement pointed out that business had picked up towards the end of the first half of 2016 and the financial theme had continued into the following months.

What Atlas Mara said

John Vitalo, Atlas Mara's chief executive , said:

The first half of 2016 presented a particularly difficult operating environment for Atlas Mara. The full impact of last year's decline in African currencies, a more challenging macroeconomic backdrop and market liquidity constraints across a number of our countries of operation have all presented particular challenges to profitability.

Notwithstanding these challenges, we are pleased to report that our businesses have demonstrated an improving trend over the course of 2016 resulting in the second quarter better than the first, with June representing our best month of the first half and with this trend continuing into July.

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