By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
Lagos, – Access Bank Plc on Wednesday announced gross earnings of N246.6 billion for the 2017 half year ended June 30, 2017.
This represented a growth of 42 per cent when compared with N174.1 billion achieved in the comparative period of 2016 as stated in the bank’s audited half year result.
It was released by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in Lagos.
The result indicated that the growth in gross earnings was driven by 66 per cent increase in interest income on the back of continued growth in its core business.
According to it, 34 per cent non-interest income underlined by strong foreign exchange income on the bank’s trading portfolio contributed to the growth in gross earnings.
“Its profit before tax rose to N39. 5 billion from N33.6 billion recorded during the same period in 2016,’’ it stated.
The bank also declared an interim dividend of 25k per share to its shareholders during the period.
According to the reports, the bank’s operating income increased by 29 per cent to N167.5 billion from N130.2 billion in the corresponding period of 2016.
It said that the bank’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) remained solid at 21.6 per cent well above the regulatory minimum.
Commenting on the result, Mr Herbert Wigwe, the bank’s Group Managing Director, said that the first half of 2017 year’s performance reflected the strength and sustainability of its business and the effective execution of its strategy.
Wigwe said that the group maintained stable asset quality, recording Non-Performing Loan and Cost of Risk Ratios (CRR) of 2.5 per cent and 1.0 per cent respectively.
“We maintained stable asset quality, recording non-performing loans and cost of risk ratios of 2.5 per cent and 1.0 per cent, respectively and wound down on our foreign currency exposures as a deliberate strategy to de-risk the business.
“As we cautiously grow our loan portfolio in light of macro realities, we will continue to uphold our proactive risk management principles in order to maintain asset quality within acceptable limits.
“While balancing our appetite for growth and profitability, we remain committed to maintaining solid liquidity and capital ratios,” Wigwe said.
He said that the bank’s retail expansion drive led to investments in its channels, distribution network, service quality and brand enhancement.
Wigwe said that AMCON charges resulted in higher operating expenses in the period.
“We continue to, however, intensify the implementation of our cost reduction initiatives in order to improve the bottom-line despite high inflationary environment.
“In view of the recovering macro, our focus remains growing the retail franchise through digital expansion to allow diversified earnings as well as continuous and proactive risk management as we selectively grow risk assets.
“We will remain resilient in the execution of our bold strategy for increased growth and profitability whilst maximising shareholders’ value in 2017 and beyond,” Wigwe said.