Fidelity Bank’s Half-year Profit Soars 67% on SME, Re­tail Strat­egy

THISDAY - - FRONT PAGE - Nume Ekeghe

Nige­rian lender, Fidelity Bank has re­ported a strong fi­nan­cial per­for­mance in the first half of 2017, post­ing im­pres­sive growth in prof­its, gross earn­ings and other in­dices for the six months pe­riod ended June 30, 2017.

De­tails of the au­dited re­sults, re­leased on the floor of the Nige­rian Stock Exchange (NSE) yes­ter­day showed that gross earn­ings rose by 22.1 per­cent from N70.3 bil­lion in H1 2016 to N85.8 bil­lion for the cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod in 2017.

The growth in gross earn­ings was driven pri­mar­ily by a 27.8 per cent in­crease in in­ter­est in­come and a 0.7 per cent growth in net fee in­come to N11.2 bil­lion.

Sim­i­larly, the bank’s profit be­fore tax (PBT) surged by 66.7 per cent from N6.1 bil­lion in 2016 to N10.2 bil­lion, just as it recorded im­prove­ment in other key per­for­mance in­dices such as its net in­ter­est mar­gin of 7.4 per cent, cost to in­come ra­tio at 67.3 per cent and cap­i­tal ad­e­quacy ra­tio of 18.4 per cent in the pe­riod un­der re­view.

Fidelity Bank CEO, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo at­trib­uted the dou­ble digit growth in earn­ings and profit to the dis­ci­plined ex­e­cu­tion of the bank’s medium-term strat­egy which fo­cused on deep­en­ing its mar­ket share in the small and medium en­ter­prises (SMEs), re­tail and dig­i­tal banking busi­ness seg­ments.

“Our bal­ance sheet op­ti­mi­sa­tion ini­tia­tives con­tin­ued to de­liver im­proved re­sults as net in­ter­est mar­gin (NIM) in­creased by 7.4 per

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