Nedbank Profit Beats Analyst Estimates as Bad-Debt Growth Slows

Nedbank Group Ltd., the South African lender controlled by Old Mutual Plc, reported full-year profit that beat analyst estimates as revenue advanced and bad debts increased at a slower pace.

Net income rose to 8.64 billion rand ($789 million), from 7.45 billion rand in 2012, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement today. Earnings per share excluding one-time items climbed 15 percent to 18.84 rand, beating the 17.89 rand mean estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

The increase in profit was driven by “good revenue growth, impairments increasing at a slower rate than net interest income and disciplined expense management,” Nedbank said in the statement.

Nedbank, South Africa’s fourth-largest lender by assets, started expanding outside the country’s biggest cities four years ago to win more clients in the low-income market. The bank expects advances to grow by 5 percent to 9 percent this year, while the credit-loss ratio should be within the 80 to 120 basis points range.

The lender’s full-year dividend climbed 19 percent to 8.95 rand. Nedbank said it expects net interest revenue, excluding fair-value adjustments, to rise 5 percent to 9 percent this year.

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