Wema Bank Plc has reported an improved performance for the half year ended June 30, 2017, despite the challenging operating environment. The bank recorded a gross of N30.37 billion in 2017, showing an increase of 25 per cent, while net interest income rose by 22 per cent to N5.0 billion, compared with N4.11 billion in 2016.
Profit before tax (PBT) rose by 10 per cent from N1.30 billion in 2016 to N1.43 billion in 2017, while Profit after tax (PAT) grew in same margin from N1.10 billion to N1.22 billion in 2017.
Commenting on the performance, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of WemaBank, Segun Oloketuyi said that in the first half of the year, the bank operated in an uncertain and challenging domestic economic environment.
â€œWhile we recorded notable improvements in the second quarter of the year, especially around foreign currency management, the execution of fiscal policies and the continued tight monetary policy impacted on consumersâ€™ disposable income and invariably on banking sector performance,â€ he said.
According to him, despite the relatively tough climate, Wema Bank recorded success on a number of financial and non-financial priorities.
â€œSpecifically, gross earnings recorded stable growth, increasing by 25.17 per cent from N24.26 billion to N30.37 billion. This growth resulted from a 25.84 per cent increase in interest income to N25.37 billion and a 21.92 per cent rise in non-interest income where we continue to see impressive growth, led by income from our mobile and digital banking offerings. The impact of the growth in gross earnings was however muted by the higher cost of funds within the sector. Despite this, we still maintained a decent interest margin while recording a 10 per cent growth in PBT,â€ he said.
The bank also further optimised its loan book in the first half of the year by focusing on recoveries and supporting transaction with good and steady cash flows.
â€œThis resulted in a 9.38 per cent decline in the volume of loans and advances, while yield on assets improved. The bankâ€™s capital adequacy ratio (CAR) increased to 12.71 per cent from 11.06 per cent as at the end of 2016, whilst non-performing loan( NPL) remained below the five per cent at 4.90 per cent as at H1â€™2017.
Wema Bankâ€™s growth strategy â€“ Project LEAP â€“ revolves around the bankâ€™s retail business and this was further strengthened by the May 2017 launch of ALAT, Nigeriaâ€™s first fully digital Bank. ALAT is the first of its kind with its end-to-end digital offering and customer interaction. The bankâ€™s target is to onboard an average of 1,000 new customers per day and we are on track to achieve that,â€ Oloketuyi said.