Wema Bank Plc yesterday released its unaudited financial results for the six months of this year ended June 30th, showing a profit before tax of N1.3 billion. The result represents 11 per cent rise from N1.2 billion recorded in the first half of last year.
The Bank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, ‘Segun Oloketuyi, said the 2016 financial year has been an eventful one for the economy.
“The year has been characterised by deceleration on a number of economic indicators coupled with increasing energy costs, intensified by rising inflation, all within a tough operating environment. The banking industry has also not been exempted from these challenges,” he said.
Oloketuyi said in spite of these challenges, Wema Bank has been able to deliver a modest improvement in the first half of the year.
“Interest on income grew by 15.2 per cent from N17.5 billion in June last year to N20.2 billion in the current period, while fee and commission income improved significantly by 42.3 per cent from N2.2 billion in the first half of 2015 to N3.1 billion in same period of 2016.This growth in non-interest revenues was driven by our ongoing initiative to enlarge our footprint in the retail space while keeping customers at the heart of our operations. We believe that this is where we will continue to win in the marketplace,” he said.
The bank chief said the lender will continue to closely monitor its costs as it optimises its operations. “Operating expenses grew from N11.1 billion in June 2015 to N11.4 billion at a rate of 2.7 per cent, lower than year-to-date inflation rate of 13.26 per cent. We achieved this through the continued migration of customers to alternative channels and deliberate efforts at reducing our cost to serve. These efforts are reflected in our profit before tax growing by 11 per cent to N1.3 billion from N1.2 billion in June 2015,” he said.
He continued: “The bank has also increased its loan to deposit ratio from 65.1 per cent in December 2015 to 67.5 per cent as at June 2016, our emphasis on selective risk creation ensured we kept our Non-Performing Loans (NPL) ratio below three per cent, which is significantly lower than the industry average.
“We expect that this risk underwriting discipline should continue to serve as a foundation for us to deliver consistent satisfactory results to our stakeholders in the second half of the year.”