The financial services group believes that the increase is attributable to its new money send product, Send-iMali, the roll-out of 144 intelligent depositor devices as well as establishing 52 additional branches in the ‘branches of the future’ format during the period.

For the six months ended 30 June 2014, Nedbank Group revealed a 17.5 per cent rise in headline earnings per share (HEPS) from 3.9 billion rand in June 2013 to 4.59 billion rand this year.

(READ MORE: Nedbank reports optimistic results)

“In a deteriorating economic environment the outcomes arising from our strategic choices enabled Nedbank to produce strong growth in diluted headline earnings per share for the six months to June,” said Mike Brown, chief executive officer of the [DATA NED:Nedbank Group Limited], in a statement.

“This performance was underpinned by net interest income (NII) growth of 9.3 per cent and our focus on selective asset origination and excellent risk management enabled the credit loss ratio to improve from a high base in the prior period to 83 basis points.”

(READ MORE: Nedbank reports solid Q1 NII growth)

Diluted HEPS and diluted earnings per share also rose by 16.1 per cent and 16.3 per cent respectively, both to 965 cents per share.

The group generated economic profit of 833 million rand, an increase of 11.2 per cent.

“Following this strong growth in diluted headline earnings per share in the first half of 2014, in a volatile and slowing economic environment our full-year guidance for growth in organic diluted headline earnings per share of greater than the growth in nominal GDP (Gross Domestic Product) remains unchanged,” added Brown.

The group also employed 259 additional staff in its frontline businesses during the period, investing 190 million rand in training with more than 2400 employees participating in learning academy programmes and 785 staff involved in its Leading for Deep Green programme.

In terms of clients, 86.1 billion rand in new loans was advanced with assets under management growing by 25.3 per cent to 209.5 billion rand.

“We remain focused on our vision to be Africa’s most admired bank through acquiring an initial 36.4 per cent stake (with a pathway to control) of Banco Unico in Mozambique, and we have until 25 November to make a decision on our rights to acquire up to 20 per cent in Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI),” said the company in a statement.

(READ MORE: Nedbank builds alliances in and outside Africa for deals and trade)