***Proposes 11 kobo Per Share Dividend
Another set of strong financial results has been delivered by Fidelity Bank Plc, posting a 94% growth in profits for the year ended December 31, 2017 and is proposing to pay 11 kobo dividend to shareholders.
Details of the full year audited results for the top Nigerian lender, released on Monday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), show impressive growth in all key indices.
The performance capped a remarkable 2017FY for the bank which returned to the international capital markets and successfully issued a $400m Eurobond that was over-subscribed by over 200%
Gross Earnings grew by 18.3% to N179.9 billion from N152 billion in 2016, whilst Profit After Tax (PAT) surged by 93.7% to N18.9 billion compared with N9.7 billion recorded in the previous year.
Net Interest Income (NIM) increased by 15.4% to N71.5 billion in 2017, Net Operating Income rose by 9.9% from N86 billion to N78.3 billion whilst Total Assets grew by 6.2% from N1.3 trillion to N1.4 trillion in the period under review.
In other indices, Total Expenses declined by 2.3% to N65.7 billion from N67.2 billion whilst Liquidity Ratio stood at 35.9% compared with 33.2% in the previous year.
Commenting on the results, Fidelity Bank CEO, Nnamdi Okonkwo, expressed delight with the performance.
According to him, the Bank sustained its performance through disciplined balance sheet management, strategic cost reduction, increased focus on the corporate, commercial, SME segments and continued execution of its retail and digital banking strategy.
“We are delighted at the results, which showed strong growth in key revenue lines, significant traction in our chosen business segments and a corresponding decline in our operating expenses despite the high inflationary environment,” he stated.
According to him, the implementation of initiatives from its Business Process Review Project and the Bank’s digital focus, continued to impact positively on operational efficiency as “total operating expenses declined by 2.3% to N65.7 billion leading to the cost-income ratio dropping to 67.5% from 77.3% in the 2016FY.
“The combination of the strong net revenue growth of 9.9% to N7.7 billion and the 2.3% decline in total expenses which translated to cost savings of N1.5 billion resulted in our increased profitability”.
Increased digitization has resulted to over 25% of the Bank’s fee-based income as customers’ adoption of its mobile/internet platforms improved to 35% in the 2017FY and led to a 21.0% reduction in vault cash holding.
Similarly, the Bank’s retail banking strategy continued to deliver good results. Savings Deposits grew by 15.2% to N178.6 billion, accounting for 23.0% of total deposits from 19.5% in the 2016FY. This has improved the Bank’s low-cost deposits ratio to 77.0% of total deposits.