Access Bank Maintains Growth Path with N72 billion Profit

Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc Herbert Wigwe

Riding on its half year result in which shareholders were rewarded with 25 kobo dividend, Access Bank Plc has maintained its growth path with profit of N72 billion for the nine months ended 30 September 2016, which is based on enhanced business efficiency as a result of the effective execution of its long-term strategy.

The Bank Profit before Tax showed an increase of 19 percent from N60.4 billion recorded during the same period in 2015. Profit after Tax grew by similar margin from N48.1 billion in 2015 to N57.1 billion in 2016. Access Bank Group unaudited nine-month results released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday also showed Gross Earnings of N274.5 billion, up 7 percent from N257.6 billion in the corresponding period of 2015.

The growth in gross earnings was driven by 17 percent increase in interest income on the back of continued growth in the Bank core business. Similarly, the Bank posted 12 percent growth in operating income to N199.3 billion from N178.1 billion in 2015. Customer Deposits grew 25 percent to ₦2.10 trillion from ₦1.68 trillion in December 2015.

Access Bank Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) remained solid at 19 percent as at September 2016, well above the regulatory minimum. Commenting on the result, Group Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer, Herbert Wigwe said, Access Bank performance in the first three quarters of this year remained strong and consistent, reflecting a stable business with the capacity to deliver sustainable returns, particularly during a period underlined by significant macro headwinds.

According to him, the Group maintained stable asset quality, recording Non Performing Loan (NPL) and Cost of Risk Ratios (CRR) of 2.1 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively. Our capital and liquidity position remained adequately above regulatory levels, as we continued to implement a disciplined capital plan, ensuring sufficient levels of profit retention to support our growth. In addition to capital enhancement, the recently concluded $300 million senior unsecured debt issue allows us optimise and enhance our foreign currency funding capacity whilst strengthening our balance sheet, Wigwe added.

The Bank asset quality ratios also improved as the percentage of Non-Performing Loans (NPL) to total gross loans stood at 2.1 percent compared to 1.7 percent in December 2015. The NPL Coverage Ratio remained strong at 209.5 percent in the period, compared with 216.4 percent as at December 2015.

Further analysis of the result indicated that Cost to Income Ratio (CIR) improved 190bps y/y to 57.7 percent in the nine months of 2016 on the back of strong income growth during the period. Total Assets stood at N3.39 trillion, up 31 percent compared to N2.59 trillion in December 2015.

We remain committed to our cost containment plan, as we strive to balance operational efficiency with earnings growth in a constrained environment. The Bank will remain resilient in the achievement of its strategic imperatives; maximizing our strong market position and solid capital base, while leveraging digital innovation to improve service touch points as we sharpen our retail play with emphasis on cheaper funding sources, Wigwe noted.

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