Diamond’s Atlas Mara Posts $63 Million Loss for First Full Year

Robert Diamond’s Atlas Mara Ltd. said it’s seeking to expand through further financial-services purchases in sub-Saharan Africa after reporting a loss in its first year.

The loss on an unaudited statutory accounting basis was $63.1 million in the 13 months to the end of December, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. Atlas Mara said it would have posted a $7.2 million profit if transactions made in 2014 had been completed at the start of the year and one-time costs were excluded. It won’t pay a dividend.

Atlas Mara, co-founded by Diamond, 63, and Ugandan entrepreneur Ashish Thakkar, has been expanding by buying African financial services companies. The company acquired ABC Holdings Ltd. and ADC African Development Corp. last year and bought a stake in Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. in September.

“We have achieved a number of important milestones,” Chief Executive Officer John Vitalo said in the statement. Atlas Mara is “currently evaluating a number of additional acquisition opportunities.”

Diamond quit as Barclays Plc CEO in 2012 after the London-based bank was fined for manipulating benchmark interest rates. Thakkar and Diamond raised $325 million in an initial public offering for Atlas Mara in December 2013.

The company said it would consider raising funds this year as part of its growth strategy.

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