Sterling Bank Plc on Tuesday reported a profit after tax of N8.5 billion for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2017. The profit after tax was higher by 65 per cent when compared to N5.2 billion declared for the corresponding period of 2016.
The bank also posted gross earnings of N113.5 billion in contrast with N111. 4 billion achieved in the comparative period of 2016, indicating an increase of 9.8 per cent.
The bank, in a result released by the Nigerian Stock Exchange ( NSE ), said the performance was driven by growth in both interest and non-interest income by 11.3 per cent and 87.8 per cent respectively.
Its net operating income rose by 7.9 per cent, while cost-to-income ratio improved by 260 basis points to 71.5 per cent.
Customer deposit increased from N584.7 billion in 2016 to N684.8 billion in 2017, a 17.1per cent increase.
The bank’s shareholders’ funds also grew from N85.7 billion in 2016 to N102.9 billion in 2017, recording a 20.2 per cent increase.
Commenting on the result, Mr Abubakar Suleiman, Chief Executive Officer of the bank, said the 2017 result highlights positive performance across key financial indice, despite challenging operating conditions, reaffirming its underlying institutional strength.
Suleiman said the non-interest banking business continued to gain significant traction, adding positively to our bottom-line of the bank.
He said the performance underscored the commitment of the entire staff of the bank to its corporate goals and the resilience of its business model.
Suleiman said the bank maintained a disciplined and prudent approach to loan growth in line with its risk management framework.
According to him, the development resulted in a significant improvement in asset quality as reflected in the reduction of non-performing loan ratio by 370 basis points to 6.2 per cent.
“Sterling Bank continued to scale its business with support from a well-diversified funding base. For the first time, we recorded N1.1 trillion in total assets from N834.2 billion in 2016 representing a 28.7 per cent growth.
“We also gained traction in our retail drive with an active customer base that exceeded three million resulting in 17.1 per cent growth in deposits,” he said.
He said the bank’s liquidity and capital adequacy ratios remained sound and well above the required regulatory benchmark at 33 per cent and 12.2 per cent, respectively.
Suleiman said the bank prioritised efficiency across its businesses as it progressed on its digital transformation journey by successfully launching “Specta,” an innovative online lending platform which offers personal loans within five minutes.
On the bank’s 2017/2021 strategic plan, Suleiman said the bank would continue to execute its plans to drive efficiency across the business under the three pillars of agility, digitisation and specialisation in 2018.
“These pillars will propel us toward sustainable growth by enhancing our ability to innovate; solidify our retail funding base.
“It will also strengthen our enterprise-wide risk management framework and drive excellent service delivery across all channels to enhance customer experience,’’ he said.