Access Bank’s first post-merger H1 PBT hits N74.1bn

•Declares 25k interim dividend

ACCESS Bank Group’s audited Half Year (H1) results released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Thursday showed Gross Earnings of N324.4 billion, up 28 per cent from N253.0 billion in the corresponding period of 2018.

The growth in gross earnings was driven by 46 per cent increase in interest income on the back of continued growth in the Bank’s core business and 22 per cent non-interest income underlined by strong recoveries.

The Bank delivered a Profit before Tax (PBT) of N74.1 billion, a 62 per cent increase from N45.8 billion recorded during the same period in 2018. Profit after Tax (PAT) grew by a similar margin from N39.6 billion in 2018 to N63.01 billion in H1 2019.

Similarly, the Bank posted 34 per cent growth in Operating Income to N202.3 billion from N151.4 billion in 2018. Total Asset was up 31 per cent at ?6.48 trillion as at June 2019 in comparison to ?4.95 trillion in December 2018.

Access Bank’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) remained solid at 20.8 per cent, well above the regulatory minimum.

Commenting on the result, Group Managing Director/CEO, Herbert Wigwe said, “Access Bank’s performance in the first half of the year reflects a sustainable business model coupled with effective execution as we make solid gains towards the achievement of our strategic goals”

Following the release of the half year results, the bank also declared an interim dividend of 25 kobo to its shareholders.

He said the lender’s focus on retail segment gained momentum during the period, as continued investments in its channels platform resulted in a 29 per cent contribution to gross fee and commission income, which went up 92 per cent from the corresponding period in 2018.

The strong retail contribution according to Wigwe demonstrates the effectiveness of the bank’s continued drive around low-cost deposits, on the back of an innovative digital platform.

“Asset quality improved as guided to 6.4 per cent on the back of a robust risk management approach. This is expected to trend into the future as we strive to hit and surpass the standard we had built in the industry prior to the merger.

“Similarly, liquidity ratio improved year on year to 49.7 per cent, reflecting deliberate steps to optimise our balance sheet in order to ensure the group’s liquidity position remains robust.” Wigwe added.

According to him, going into the second half of the year, Access Bank’s focus is on consolidating momentum and driving access to financial inclusion through its various agency initiatives.

“Additionally, we will remain disciplined in our efforts to deliver enhanced shareholder value, as we continue to realise the synergies from our newly expanded franchise” he noted.

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