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Access Bank attributes N72bn Q3 Profit growth to business efficiency

ACCESS Bank Plc, has said that its impressive profit of N72 billion for the nine months ended September 30, 2016, was due to enhanced business efficiency, resulting from effective execution of long-term strategy.

The Bank’s Profit Before Tax (PBT) showed an increase of 19 per cent from N60.4 billion recorded during the same period in 2015. Profit After Tax (PAT) grew by similar margin from N48.1 billion in 2015 to N57.1 billion in 2016.

Access Bank Group’s unaudited nine-month results released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday, also showed Gross Earnings of N274.5 billion, up 7 per cent from N257.6 billion in the corresponding period of 2015. The growth in gross earnings was driven by 17 per cent increase in interest income on the back of continued growth in the bank’s core business.

Similarly, the bank posted 12 per cent growth in operating income to N199.3 billion from N178.1 billion in 2015. Customer Deposits grew 25 per cent to N2.10 trillion from N1.68 trillion in December 2015.

Access Bank’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) remained solid at 19 per cent as at September 2016, well above the regulatory minimum.

Commenting on the result, Group Managing Director/CEO, Herbert Wigwe said, “Access Bank’s performance in the first three quarters of this year remained strong and consistent, reflecting a stable business with the capacity to deliver sustainable returns, particularly during a period underlined by significant macro headwinds.” According to him, the group maintained stable asset quality, recording NPL and Cost of Risk Ratios (CRR) of 2.1 per cent and 0.9 per cent, respectively.

“Our capital and liquidity position remained adequately above regulatory levels, as we continued to implement a disciplined capital plan, ensuring sufficient levels of profit retention to support our growth. In addition to capital enhancement, the recently concluded $300 million senior unsecured debt issue allows us optimise and enhance our foreign currency funding capacity whilst strengthening our balance sheet,” Wigwe added.

Further breakdown of the bank’s asset quality ratios also showed improvement as the percentage of Non-Performing Loans (NPL) to total gross loans stood at 2.1 per cent compared to 1.7 per cent in December 2015. The NPL Coverage Ratio remained strong at 209.5 per cent in the period, compared with 216.4 per cent as at December 2015. Also, the bank said Cost to Income Ratio (CIR) improved 190bps y/y to 57.7 per cent in the nine months of 2016 on the back of strong income growth during the period. Total Assets stood at N3.39 trillion, up 31 per cent compared to N2.59 trillion in December 2015.

“We remain committed to our cost containment plan, as we strive to balance operational efficiency with earnings growth in a constrained environment. The bank will remain resilient in the achievement of its strategic imperatives; maximising our strong market position and solid capital base, while leveraging digital innovation to improve service touch points as we sharpen our retail play with emphasis on cheaper funding sources,” Wigwe noted.