Shares in the lender climbed 4.4% to £18.02 after Georgia’s largest bank by assets, loans and deposits reported a consensus-beating 29% rise in pre-tax profit to GEL310 million (£85.8 million) during the year.
This was the result of a strong performance in the healthcare business – the recently IPO’d Georgia Healthcare (GHG) in which the parent retains a 68% controlling interest – as well as its retail, corporate and investment management operations.
The strong headline figure was supported by a 17% return on equity (RoE), where it makes 17p for every £1 invested in the business and is about average for a bank.
There was also an improvement in costs where the percentage of expenses to income fell to around 35% from 40% a year ago.
Analysts at Numis expect more of the same for the current year. ‘We suspect that there will be very few UK banks that see 19% EPS growth in 2016 from a record 2015 base year,’ they said in a note.
‘With the prospect of another year of 3% GDP growth in Georgia we believe the macro and regulatory risk profile of Georgia relative to other markets around the world looks increasingly attractive.’
HSBC (HSBA) reports its 2015 prelims on 22 February, a day before Standard Chartered (STAN) does the same. Lloyds Banking (LLOY) and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) publish their figures on 25 and 26 February, respectively. Barclays (BARC) closes the FTSE 100 banking round up when its figures for the year are presented on 1 March.