Despite the challenging and fiercely competitive environment, Fidelity Bank Plc thursday reported a solid financial performance in the first quarter of 2017, posting an appreciable growth in its profit and gross earnings for the period ended March 31, 2017.
A statement by the lender showed that in its unaudited result released at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) the bankâ€™s gross earnings rose by 18.8 per cent from N34.4 billion in March 2016 to N40.8 billion for the corresponding period in March 2017.
Similarly, Fidelity Bankâ€™s profit before tax in the period surged by 20.5 per cent from N4 billion in 2016 to N4.8 billion in 2017, just as it recorded a growth in net interest income, deposits, loans and other performance indices.
Speaking on the results, Fidelity Bank CEO, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo said the double digit growth in earnings and profit underscored the disciplined execution of the bankâ€™s medium-term strategy and a business model that enables it to continue to deliver improved performance in line with its 2017 financial year targets.
â€œGross earnings growth was driven by a combination of increased yields on earning assets and an absolute growth in the volume of earning assets which led to a 24.1 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) growth in interest income,â€ he said.
The Fidelity Bank helmsman also spoke on the impact of the bankâ€™s efforts at reducing operating cost.
â€œOur cost optimisation initiatives continued to deliver cost savings, as total operating expenses declined y-o-y by 10.4 per cent to N14.4 billion, this was driven by a decline in over 60 per cent of our operating expense lines in Q1 2017.
â€œWe will continue to optimise our cost profile without impacting service delivery through the disciplined execution of the initiatives from our recently completed business optimisation project,â€ he explained further.
Deposits, which is a measure of customer confidence, in the period under review, grew quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) by 0.9 per cent to N800 billion in March 2017 from N793 billion as at December 2016, with low cost deposits accounting for 79.4 per cent of total deposits.
On the whole, said the statement, the bankâ€™s retail strategy has continued to deliver impressive results with savings increasing by 5.6 per cent to N163.7 billion as at March 31, 2017.
Ranked amongst the top Nigerian lenders, Fidelity Bank has a strategic retail distribution network with a presence in the major cities and commercial centers across the country.
Rising from the recent rebranding exercise, the bank has become one of the most visible bank brands in Nigeria, gaining accolades and recognition for its superior e-banking products and services and promoting small businesses.
Its SME financing strategy is delivered through a multi-faceted approach that includes robust business advisory, practical handholding and guidance of aspiring and existing entrepreneurs to building sustainable businesses.