RMB Remains Resilient, Delivering Solid Interim Results

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Speed and level of recovery in earnings and ROE has exceeded initial expectations

Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), the corporate and investment banking arm of FirstRand Limited, delivered resilient interim results to December 2020 as pre-provision operating profit (PPOP) grew by 9% in what continues to be a challenging economy.

RMB CEO James Formby said:

RMB Addressing Skills Shortage Tipping Point Must Be Major Focus For 2021 - RMB CEO Brandspurng

“What is pleasing is the quality of our diversified portfolio across business lines as well as geographies, in line with our strategy.” He noted the sustained balance sheet strength and that the bank has continued to provision prudently across its credit portfolio.

rmb brand spur

The strong operational performance, underpinned by growth in deposits and resilient annuity income, was offset by higher credit impairments – resulting in a decline of profit before tax of 6% from the same period in 2019.

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Normalised earnings were 7% down and a ROE of 16.4% was achieved.

Resilient performance in an ongoing constrained market

The performance was driven by an excellent contribution from Markets, specifically from the fixed income desk. The Markets business was up 27% compared to the December 2019 period. Banking (Corporate Transactional Banking and Investment Banking and Advisory) had a solid operational performance although overall PBT decreased 9% due to conservative provisioning.

RMB also saw a strong performance from the rest of Africa with an increase in profit before tax of 14%, contributing 30% of RMB’s pre-tax earnings, supported by a strong cross-border performance. The private equity portfolio remains healthy with its estimated market value at R3.9 billion above book value.

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RMB’s decline in profits was primarily due to additional credit provisions of more than R800 millionThese provisions were mainly taken against the performing book, with more than half arising from a more conservative forward-looking macro view, as required by IFRS9.

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“The portfolio held up better than expected with the potential emergence of non-performing loans not materialising in the core lending portfolio,“ Formby said.

Deposit growth has been pleasing with a rise of 6%, although margins have come under pressure due to the numerous interest rate cuts in South Africa and most of the other African countries in which RMB operates. Advances reduced 3% since June 2020 as corporates repaid additional liquidity facilities drawn down during COVID-19 lockdowns and new business origination remained relatively muted.

Formby said:

“Notably costs in the period have been well contained while we are still investing in new initiatives and platform upgrades.”

Doing good business for a better world

“Our clients remain the centre of our business and the economy. We continue to support them through this challenging period with direct funding, payment holidays and covenant waivers,” said Formby.

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“We processed several large reapplications for clients in sectors where short-term operating cash flows continue to be adversely impacted by COVID-19 lockdown regulations. Over the reporting period, we granted R8.8bn of relief, primarily in the form of short-term debt repayment moratoriums and new bridge finance advanced. Encouragingly we noted a significant decline in the number of requests as liquidity needs stabilise.”

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RMB Remains Resilient, Delivering Solid Interim Results - Brand SpurRMB Remains Resilient, Delivering Solid Interim Results - Brand Spur

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RMB Remains Resilient, Delivering Solid Interim Results - Brand SpurRMB Remains Resilient, Delivering Solid Interim Results - Brand Spur

Latest News

Strongest first quarter ever: Preliminary results of Deutsche Post DHL Group above market expectations

  • All divisions significantly increased EBIT in first quarter 2021; Group EBIT tripled to around EUR 1.9 billion
  • Free cash flow development continued positive trajectory and improved by more than EUR 1.4 billion to around EUR 1.0 billion
  • CEO Frank Appel: "The start into the new financial year was more dynamic than ever"


SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 12 April 2021 - Deutsche Post DHL Group has today released preliminary results for the first quarter of 2021 and has raised the outlook for the current financial year. Preliminary operating profit (EBIT) for the first three months improved to around EUR 1.9 billion (Q1 2020: EUR 592 million). The positive development of the group's businesses seen in the fourth quarter 2020 has continued well through the first quarter 2021. In the first three months of the year the B2C shipment volumes remained high in all networks while the recovery in the B2B business continued.

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"The start to the new financial year was more dynamic than ever. It proves that we have successfully geared our business to the right growth drivers. One year into the pandemic we experienced in the first quarter 2021 a sustained momentum in e-commerce and a significant stabilization in global trade with increasing air- and sea-freight volumes. Consequently all divisions reported a significant jump in earnings above market expectations. Global trade continues to recover and vaccine distribution is in full swing which makes me very optimistic for the rest of 2021 and beyond," said Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL Group.

All divisions optimally positioned for continuing e-commerce boom and growth in global trade

Express: The division reached an EBIT of around EUR 955 million in the first quarter 2021 compared to EUR 393 million in Q1 2020.

Global Forwarding, Freight: EBIT in Global Forwarding, Freight stood at around EUR 215 million in Q1 2021, clearly above previous year's Q1 of EUR 73 million.

Supply Chain: EBIT at Supply Chain came in at around EUR 165 million in the first quarter 2021 compared to EUR 105 million in Q1 2020.

eCommerce Solutions: eCommerce Solutions recorded a first quarter 2021 EBIT of around EUR 115 million, clearly above last year's Q1 result of EUR 6 million.

Post & Parcel Germany: EBIT in Post & Parcel Germany in Q1 2021 was around EUR 555 million (Q1 2020: EUR 334 million).

Earnings momentum mirrored in positive cash flow development and improved outlook


The continued positive business development is underpinned by a strong cash flow development; free cash flow amounted to around EUR 1.0 billion in the first quarter 2021. In Q1 2020 this figure was still negative at EUR -409 million.

In light of the strong earnings momentum, guidance for 2021 is adjusted as follows:

Group EBIT for 2021 is now expected to be significantly above EUR 5.6 billion (previous forecast: more than EUR 5.6 billion). Equally, the result for the DHL divisions is now seen significantly above EUR 4.5 billion (previous forecast: more than EUR 4.5 billion). EBIT for the Post & Parcel Germany division is no longer expected at around EUR 1.6 billion but above EUR 1.6 billion. The expectation of a Group Functions EBIT of around EUR -0.4 billion remains unchanged. Full year 2021 Free Cash Flow is now expected to be significantly above EUR 2.3 billion (previous forecast: around EUR 2.3 billion).

The Group will introduce a revised detailed guidance with the comprehensive disclosure for Q1 2021 which will be published as planned on May 5, 2021.

Deutsche Post DHL Group

Deutsche Post DHL Group is the world's leading logistic company. The Group connects people and markets and is an enabler of global trade. It aspires to be the first choice for customers, employees and investors worldwide. To this end, Deutsche Post DHL Group is focusing on growth in its profitable core logistics businesses and accelerating the digital transformation in all business divisions. The Group contributes to the world through sustainable business practices, corporate citizenship and environmental activities. By the year 2050, Deutsche Post DHL Group aims to achieve zero emissions logistics.


Deutsche Post DHL Group is home to two strong brands: DHL offers a comprehensive range of parcel and international express service, freight transport, and supply chain management services, as well as e-commerce logistics solutions. Deutsche Post is Europe's leading postal and parcel service provider. Deutsche Post DHL Group employs approximately 570,000 people in over 220 countries and territories worldwide. The Group generated revenues of more than 66 billion Euros in 2020.


The logistics company for the world.

RMB Remains Resilient, Delivering Solid Interim Results - Brand Spur
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