Access Bank grows profit by 18%, equities gain

 Access Bank Plc has reported an 18 per cent growth of its profit before tax for the half year ended June 30, 2017.

The lender’s PBT rose to N52bn, representing a 18 per cent year-on-year growth when compared to N43.9bn in H1 2016.

 Its profit after tax also grew to N39.5bn in H1 2017 from N33.6bn in H1 2016. Its Return On Average Equity was 16.9 per cent, which was flat compared to 16.9 per cent of 2016 half year.

The bank’s gross earnings rose by 42 per cent year-on-year to N246.6bn as against N174.1bn recorded in H1 2016, with interest income and non-interest income contributing 66 per cent and 34 per cent, respectively.

Interest income grew by 44 per cent year-on-year to N161.9bn in H1 2017 from N112.3bn in H1 2016, while non-interest income stood at N84.4bn, appreciating by 37 per cent compared to N61.7bn in H1 2016.

The lender’s loans and advances totaled N1.79tn as at June 2017 (December 2016: N1.86tn) reflecting a cautious approach in the light of a recovering macro economy, according to the bank. But customer deposits declined by nine per cent to N1.9tn in the period, from N2.09tn in December 2016.

 Its total assets was flat at N3.46tn as at June 2017 (December 2016: N3.48tn).

Commenting on the performance, the Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Herbert Wigwe, said, “The group’s performance in the first half of the year reflects the strength and sustainability of our business, and the effective execution of our strategy. Non-interest income remained strong on the back of 68.8 per cent growth in foreign exchange income demonstrating our optimisation of revenue generating opportunities.

“We maintained stable asset quality, recording non-performing loans and cost of risk ratios of 2.5 per cent and one per cent, respectively and wound down on our foreign currency exposures as a deliberate strategy to de-risk the business. As we cautiously grow our loan portfolio in light of macro realities, we will continue to uphold our proactive risk management principles in order to maintain asset quality within acceptable limits.”

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Stock Exchange market capitalisation appreciated to N12.773tn from N12.739tn, while the All-Share Index closed at 37,059.21 basis points from 36,962.48 basis points.

A total of 264.286 million shares valued at N5.53bn were traded in 3,849 deals.

 The Nigerian Exchange recorded a 0.26 per cent advancement to settle the year-to-date return at 37.90 per cent.

Similarly, volume of transactions and market turnover increased by 8.17 per cent and 50.59 per cent, respectively. There were 17 gainers and 21 losers.

Caverton Offshore Services Group Plc  topped the gainers’ list once again, advancing by 9.52 per cent to close at N1.15. Other gainers were United Capital Plc, Livestock Feeds Plc, Access Bank Plc, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc, among others.