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) Wednesday showed that gross earnings rose by 22.1 per cent 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 bankâ€™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 bankâ€™s medium-term strategy which focused on deepening its market share in the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), retail and digital banking business segments.
â€œOur balance sheet optimisation initiatives continued to deliver improved results as net interest margin (NIM) increased by 7.4 per cent in H1 2017, from 6.4 per cent (2016FY), just as growth in the yield on our earning assets outpaced the increase in funding costs.
â€œThe process improvement and digital banking initiatives in the period helped to optimise our cost profile, as total expenses declined by 1.8 per cent (despite the high inflationary environment), leading to a reduction in our cost to income ratio (CIR) to 67.3 per cent,â€ he stated.
â€œFidelity Bankâ€™s retail strategy continued to deliver impressive results in HI2017, as savings deposits, a measure of customer confidence, increased by 3.9 per cent to N161.1 billion in June 2017 on the strength of improved cross selling of our digital banking products with about 30 per cent of customers now enrolled on our flagship mobile (*770#) and internet banking productsâ€ he added.
With a presence in the major cities and commercial centres in the country, complemented by innovative digital banking products and channels, Fidelity Bank was rated as one of the top four banks in the retail segment in the recently published KPMG BICSS.
The bank, which is managed by a highly professional team and a reputable board of directors, commenced the interim audit of its financials in 2017 in line with its emphasis for continuous process and governance improvement.