(Alliance News) – Bank of Georgia Group PLC on Thursday reported a surge in pretax profit during 2022, as Georgia’s economy grew rapidly, boosted by migration and capital relocation.
The Tbilisi-based lender said pretax profit in 2022 jumped 55% to GEL1.24 billion, about GBP394.9 million, from GEL801.9 million a year prior. Net interest income rose 24% to GEL1.18 billion from GEL953.9 million.
Net foreign currency gain jumped to GEL466.1 million from GEL109.1 million, as the Georgian lari appreciated by 12.5% against the dollar during 2022, the bank said. It gained a further 1.9% against the dollar in January 2023, the bank added.
The bank said Georgia’s gross domestic product grew 9.5% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2022, boosted by continued inbound migration and relocation of capital. Georgia neighbours Russia, from where at least 260,000 military-aged men have fled to Georgia following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Time reported in September.
“Georgian economy maintained its recent strong momentum despite the ongoing war in Ukraine and
global interest rate and inflationary trends,” Bank of Georgia said. Meanwhile, it aims to increase its share buyback and cancellation programme by up to GEL148 million.
Bank of Georgia reported diluted earnings per share doubled to GEL30.33 from GEL14.88.
The bank intends to recommend a final dividend for 2022 of GEL5.80, bringing the total to GEL7.65, doubled from GEL3.81 in 2021.
Looking ahead, the bank expects the Georgian lari to remain stable, and added: “Going forward, although risks remain, given the importance of the south Caucasian corridor for the central Asian economies, we expect Georgia’s role in the region to strengthen, bringing in additional investments and economic activity in the energy, transport, and logistics sectors over the next few years. On our side, we remain well-positioned to capture the benefits of increased economic activity in the country, and to sustainably deliver strong growth and high profitability.”
Bank of Georgia shares were 9.2% higher at 2,970.00 pence each in London on Thursday morning.
Source: market screener