BSP Financial Group Limited (BSP) today announced a net profit after tax of K1.075b for the financial year ended 31st December 2021. The result was driven by the release of COVID-19 provisions, good foreign exchange revenue, and strong transaction volumes across all markets.
BSP CEO, Robin Fleming, noted that overall business sentiment in all countries improved in 2021. Business and customers have adapted to the COVID-19 operating environment, which allowed for provisioning releases and income growth following pandemic-induced lows in the prior year. Investments in our staff and capabilities around Anti-Money Laundering and IT service delivery were the main drivers of cost increases in 2021.
Mr Fleming also noted that the above profit result was achieved at the same time BSP delivered greater value to its customers, with a number of fees reduced or waived in 2021 as well as the reduction in Kundu Packaging Account fees and cash handling fees effective from 1st March 2022. With no fee increases since 2014, annual fee savings to BSP customers are estimated to be circa K62m per annum, due to fees being reduced or waived.
Mr Fleming further noted BSP’s continued commitment to providing traditional branch based banking services to customers in every PNG province. The new branch at Eriku is planned to open in the second half of the year as is the new lending centre in Port Moresby. BSP has just completed the upgrade of Palmalmal to a hybrid branch and a similar upgrade for Telefomin sub-branch has been commissioned. A second branch in Mt Hagen is also being progressed.
In closing, given the strong profit result the BSP Board announced the final 2021 dividend payment of K1.34 per ordinary share, payable on 22nd April 2022. The final dividend of K1.34 per share combined with the interim dividend of K0.39, gives a total dividend of K1.73 per share for the 2021 financial year. This is a 33.1% increase compared to K1.30 per share paid in 2020. Dividends paid to shareholders totalled K812m in 2021, with the vast majority contributing to the growth in personal wealth for everyday working Papua New Guineans that are superannuation fund members. Finally, BSP paid K282m in corporate taxes to the PNG Government in 2021.