By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
Fidelity Bank Plc on Monday announced an impressive result for the year ended Dec. 31, 2017 with a profit, after tax, soaring by 94 per cent.
The bank in an audited result released by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE ) posted a profit after of N18.9 billion compared with N9.7 billion in the comparative period of 2016.
The profit before tax also grew by N9.24 billion or 83.6 per cent to N20.3 billion from N11.0 billion in the preceding year.
The gross earnings rose by N27.89 billion or 18.34 per cent to N179.9 billion from N152.02 billion in the comparative period.
Total Assets increased to N1.379 trillion at the end of December last year from N1.298 trillion recorded in the preceding year.
The board proposed a total dividend of N3.19 billion which translated to 11k per share during the period under review.
Its net interest income increased by 15.4 per cent to N71.5 billion in 2017, Net Operating Income rose by 9.9% from N86.0bn to N78.3 billion.
The bank’s total assets grew by 6.2 per cent to N1.4 trillion from N1.3trillion in 2016 financial year.
Total expenses declined by 2.3 per cent to N65.7 billion from N67.2 billion, whilst Liquidity Ratio stood at 35.9 per cent compared with 33.2 per cent in the previous year.
Commenting on the results, Fidelity Bank CEO, Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo expressed delight with the performance.
Okonkwo said that the bank sustained its performance through disciplined balance sheet management, strategic cost reduction and increased focus on the corporate, commercial, SME segments and continued execution of its retail and digital banking strategy.
“We are delighted at the results, which showed strong growth in key revenue lines, significant traction in our chosen business segments and a corresponding decline in our operating expenses despite the high inflationary environment”, he stated.
Okonkwo attributed the bank’s performance to the implementation of initiatives from its Business Process Review Project and digital focus which impacted positively on operational efficiency.
He said that total operating expenses declined by 2.3 per cent to N65.7 billion leading to the cost-income ratio dropping to 67.5 per cent from 77.3 per cent in 2016.
“The combination of the strong net revenue growth of 9.9 per cent to N7.7 billion and the 2.3 per cent decline in total expenses which translated to cost savings of N1.5 billion resulted in our increased profitability”, Okonkwo said.
He said that the bank’s retail banking strategy continued to deliver good results with savings deposits growing by 15.2 per cent to N178.6 billion, accounting for 23.0 per cent of total deposits from 19.5 per cent in 2016.
Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria, with over 3.8 million customers who are serviced across its 240 business offices and various other digital banking channels.
The bank has in recent times won accolades as the Best SME Friendly Bank, Best in Mobile Banking and the Most Improved Corporate/Investment Bank among several industry awards and recognitions.
The bank was also ranked the 4th Best Bank in the Retail Banking Segment in the 2017 Banking Industry Satisfaction Survey conducted by KPMG.