Access Bank has declared its first profit resukts since concluding its merger with Diamond Bank. Its audited H1 (first half of year) results released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Thursday, showed Gross Earnings of N324.4 billion, up 28% from N253.0 billion in the corresponding period of 2018.
The bank said in a statement at the weekend that the growth in gross earnings was driven by 46% increase in interest income on the back of continued growth in its core business and 22% non-interest income underlined by strong recoveries.
It delivered a Profit before Tax (PBT) of N74.1 billion, a 62% increase from N45.8 billion recorded during the same period in 2018. Profit after Tax (PAT) grew by a similar margin from N39.6 billion in 2018 to N63.01 billion in H1 2019.
The bank also posted 34% growth in Operating Income to N202.3 billion from N151.4 billion in 2018. Total Asset was up 31% at ₦6.48 trillion as at June 2019 in comparison to ₦4.95 trillion in December 2018.
Access Bank’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) remained solid at 20.8%, well above the regulatory minimum.
Commenting on the result, Group Managing Director/CEO, Herbert Wigwe said, “Access Bank’s performance in the first half of the year reflects a sustainable business model coupled with effective execution as we make solid gains towards the achievement of our strategic goals”
Following the release of the half year results, the bank also declared an interim dividend of 25k to its shareholders.
“Our focus on retail gained momentum during the period, as continued investments in our channels platform resulted in a 29% contribution to gross fee and commission income, up 92% from the corresponding period in 2018. The strong retail contribution demonstrates the effectiveness of our continued drive around low-cost deposits, on the back of an innovative digital platform. Asset quality improved as guided, to 6.4% on the bank of a robust risk management approach. This is expected to trend into the future as we strive to hit and surpass the standard we had built in the industry prior to the merger. Similarly, liquidity ratio improved year on year to 49.7%, reflecting deliberate steps to optimise our balance sheet in order to ensure the group’s liquidity position remains robust.” Wigwe added.
“Going into the second half of the year, our focus is on consolidating momentum and driving access to financial inclusion through our various agency initiatives. Additionally, we will remain disciplined in our efforts to deliver enhanced shareholder value, as we continue to realise the synergies from our newly expanded franchise” he noted.
Following its merger with Diamond Bank in March 2019, Access Bank became one of Africa’s largest retail banks by retail customer base. It now operates through a network of more than 670 branches and service outlets, spanning three continents, 12 countries and 31 million customers.