Access Bank Plc has proposed a final dividend of 40 Kobo per share to its shareholders, in addition to 25 Kobo interim dividend paid during the period, making a total of 65 Kobo for the financial year.
In its financial statement for the full year ended 31 December, 2017, submitted to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Access Bank recorded a total income of N459.1 billion, representing an increase of 20 per cent over N381.3 billion recorded in the same period in 2016.
Growth in gross earnings was boosted by a 29 per cent increase in interest income to N319.9 billion in 2017, from N247.2 billion in Full Year (FY) 2016, while net interest income grew by 17 per cent from N163,452 billion in FY 2017, from N139,148 billion in the comparative period of 2016.
Similarly, Non-Interest Income grew four per cent to N139.1billion, in FY 2017 from N133.4 billion in 2016, leading to an 11 per cent increase in the Group’s operating income to N302,596 billion in FY 2017, from N272,605 billion in FY 2016.
The growth in the Group’s earnings was underlined by an expansion in its core business, on the back of an enhanced asset book. Loans and advances grew 11 per cent to N2,064 trillion in 2017, from N1,855 trillion in December 2016.
Total assets grew 18 per cent to N4,102 trillion in December 2017, from N3,484 trillion in the corresponding period in 2016.
Additionally, the Group recorded an increase of 13 per cent in Shareholder returns of N515 billion in December 2017, from N454 billion in the corresponding period in 2016.
Although the Group posted significant growth in earnings, the adverse lingering effects of the macro on asset quality in the industry led to the Bank taking prudent provisions in the course of the year, thereby dampening profitability, as Profit before tax declined 11 per cent to N80.1 billion in FY 2017 from N90.3 billion in FY 2016.
Commenting on the results, Herbert Wigwe, Group Managing Director explained that the Bank’s operating performance in 2017 was impacted by the residual effects of macro-economic conditions of 2016, characterised by slow economic expansion and adverse credit conditions, which resulted in making conservative provisions on our loan book.
“Despite the macro and regulatory headwinds, our underlying business remained strong as reflected in the gross earnings growth of 20 per cent to N459 billion in 2017. We grew our loan book to position it for improved earnings, whilst driving deposit mobilization from targeted segments to diversify our funding base.”
According to Wigwe, the year 2017 was pivotal for the Bank, as it concluded its 2013-2017 corporate strategic plan. “Its successful implementation was hinged on discipline, hard work, and an unwavering commitment to our set objectives. I am particularly excited about the next phase of the Bank’s evolution centred on an integrated global franchise. The execution of the 2018-2022 strategy commences with focus on deepening our retail offerings, underpinned by strong digital and payment solutions. Throughout the next phase, we will continue to invest in technology as we establish a universal payments gateway with an ecosystem of local and international partnerships,” he added.
Access Bank’s capital and liquidity levels of 22.5 per cent and 47.3 per cent respectfully remained robust, well above the required regulatory minimum, providing a strong buffer against the macro challenges and room to expand its business.
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