Sterling Bank declares N103.7bn gross earnings in 2014

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Lagos-Sterling Bank Plc has announced N103. 7 billion as its gross earnings for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2014.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the amount is 13 per cent higher than the N91.6 billion it declared in 2013.

The figure is contained in the company’s audited result released by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Wednesday in Lagos.

The bank’s profit before tax rose by 15.4 per cent to N10.7 billion against N7.5 billion posted in the preceding period of 2013.

Also, its net interest income rose by 20.1 per cent to N43.0 billion in contrast to N35.8 billion recorded in 2013.

The bank’s cost of funds dropped to 5.3 per cent from 6.1 per cent declared in 2013.

Similarly, the non-interest income grew by 18.3 per cent to N25.7 billion against N21.8 billion in 2013.

Its operating expenses increased by 26.5 per cent to N50.6 billion in 2014 as against N40 billion declared in 2013.

The bank attributed the increase to the ongoing investments in branch refits and expansion and rollout of alternative channels as well as regulation-induced cost.

The report indicated that net loans and advances increased by 15.4 per cent to N371.2 billion during the period under review compared with N321.7 billion in 2013.

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It said Customers’ deposits rose by 15 per cent to N655.9 billion against N570.5 billion posted in the comparative period of 2013.

Also, the shareholders’ funds increased by 33.5 per cent to N84.7 billion from N63.5 billion in 2013.

Its total assets stood at N824.5 billion compared with N707.8 billion, representing an increase of 16.5 per cent.

The report quoted the Managing Director, Mr Yemi Adeola, as saying that the bank’s performance showed the strength of its resilient growth model and ability to continue to deliver value for all stakeholders.

Adeola said that 2014 was a difficult year for the banking industry following multiple challenges arising from a weaker macroeconomic environment and various regulatory policies that impacted on the margins of banks.

“Despite these pressures, we achieved double-digit earnings growth in line with our medium-term strategic objectives,” he said.

Adeola attributed the performance to the commitment of the entire team to the bank’s corporate goals and business model.

He said that the bank in 2014 initiated the upgrade of its technology infrastructure and the re-engineering, centralisation and automation of processes to improve customers’ service.

“In recognition of the critical role that human capital plays in successfully driving strategy and its execution, it also continued to invest substantially in employee training.

“Talent retention and the creation of an environment that fosters continuous learning and development,” Adeola said.

He assured Nigerians that the bank would continue to deliver better values to all stakeholders given the steadiness of its strategic growth plan and its current strong balance sheet position.

Adeola said the bank would further strengthen its capital base by raising new funds to support business expansion and enhance its ability to undertake large-ticket transactions.

“Our capital plan remains on track as we advance to the last phase of the capital raising programme, a multi-currency subordinated debt tranche of 200 million dollars,” Adeola said. (NAN)