On behalf of the Board of Directors and myself, I seize this opportunity to say a few words on the performance of our Bank in the fiscal year 2015/16. I will leave the details of the figures to the report and merely bestow highlights of the just ended year and future prospect of our Bank.
The last fiscal year has gone through very challenging internal and external situations both in global and local economic perspective. As per the World Economic Outlook report, the global growth slowed down in the last quarter of 2015. Global industrial production, particularly of capital goods, remained subdued throughout 2015. This weakness is consistent with depressed investment worldwide, particularly in energy and mining, as well as the deceleration of China’s manufacturing activity. Since our country is part and parcel of the world, similar economic circumstances was experienced in the previous year. However, with all the difficulties faced, the Ethiopian economic growth is still in good progress by containing inflation within single digit. With regard to the banking industry, in the prevailing year, like the year before, there was stiff competition for resource among banks especially for foreign currency and deposit. As a result of this struggle of securing fair share of the key resources from the market, aggressive branch expansion effort was observed in all spectrums of banks.
Despite all the challenges mentioned above, our Bank was able to earn aggregate income of Birr 2.7 billion and incurred operating expense of Birr 1.8 billion. Hence, the gross profit generated in the year under review was Birr 950.6 million. After payment of profit tax of Birr 223.6 million to the government coffer and transferring Birr 182 million to the legal reserve, the earnings per share stood at Birr 487. th In line with the decision of the Bank’s Shareholders at the 19 Annual Extraordinary Meeting, the paid up capital of the Bank as at June 30, 2016 has grown to 1.5 billion that raised the primary capital of the Bank to Birr 2.8 billion. I want to forward my deepest appreciation to our respected Shareholders for their full support and trust on investing their money in the Bank.
Due to the Bank’s high engagement on introducing new value added banking products to its customers, Dashen Bank has officially launched American Express Card and has started issuing AMEX branded debit cards, which are expected to expand the number of cardholders and also enable the Bank to segment its customers and serve based on their desire. Our Internet Banking, Agency Banking and Mobile Banking services are used as the benchmark services that can satisfy the need of our customers for highly advanced technological banking demands. In order to improve the accessibility of our banking services to more customers, the Bank has opened 64 new branches throughout the country in the past year.
Those newly opened branches will play their paramount role on mobilizing deposit and serve as a contact office for customers who request loans and advances, international trade services and other domestic banking services. The Bank has also started customer segmentation and as a result of that, the state of art 7 th Dashen Bank 20 Annual Report 2015-2016.
Premier branch will be opened at Bole Tower soon. Overall, the Board has firm confidence on ground leveling work done by the management in the year just finished and I believe the upcoming year result will further improve and the leading position of the Bank in the industry will be maintained. So as to accustom the Bank to dynamic and continuous changes in the business world, and more specifically to the banking industry, the Board has approved a new organizational structure the implementation of which has already started.
It is well known that the Bank needs its own buildings to sustain its growth. In line with this, we have inaugurated Arba Minch building in the last year. Besides, the construction of Head Office, Arat Killo and Dessie buildings are in good progress. As per the construction contract signed with MIDROC Ethiopia PLC, the Head Office building will be completed in a few months and we will enter to the new building in the current year.
In respect to governance, as dictated in the newly issued Corporate Governance Directive of the National Bank of Ethiopia, the Board has established three sub committees that oversee the Audit, Risk and Human Resource affairs of the Bank. These committees have engaged full-fledged. The transparent culture inbuilt by the Board helps us to deliberate thoroughly in each agenda of the Board Meeting in every fortnight and I want to assure the Shareholders that this value will be maintained until the end of our tenure.
Finally, I would like to forward my gratitude to all stakeholders. Our adored customers for their confidence on the Bank, respected Shareholders for their encouragement and support, the National Bank of Ethiopia for their guidance and the management and the staff of Dashen Bank for their committed service.