Managing Director/CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Mr. Segun Agbaje has expressed optimism that 2018 financial year would be a much better year for the bank notwithstanding the current state of Nigeria’s economic.
The GTBank boss made the prediction yesterday, while briefing journalists on the bankâ€™s recently released audited financial results for the year ended December 31, 2017.
He said the bank posted positive performance across all financial indices despite the challenging environment.
Agbaje noted that given the current state of the economy, 2018 is going to be a tough, but however expressed strong optimism that the bank will work hard to maintain profitability.
He posited that the bank will tread carefully because â€œthe growth is still very slow and the monetary policy is still tightâ€.
The bankâ€™s audited results for 2017 showed that gross earnings for the year rose by 1.1% to â‚¦419.2billion from â‚¦414.6billion reported in December 2016.
The growth was driven by the rise in interest income and revenues from e-payment. Profit before tax stood at â‚¦200.2billion, representing a growth of 21.3% over â‚¦165.1billion recorded in the 2016 financial year.
The Bankâ€™s loan book dipped by 8.9% from â‚¦1.590trillion in December 2016 to â‚¦1.449trillion in December 2017 while customer deposits increased by 3.8% to â‚¦2.062trillion from â‚¦1.986trillion in December 2016.
The GTB Boss said the loan book contracted by 8.9per cent â€œdue to the cautious effort to de-risk the balance sheet, repayment of US dollar term loans and unwinding of US dollar trade obligations.â€ He further explained that the US dollar repayments led to increased dollar liquidity which contributed to 41 per cent growth in cash and cash equivalents from N455billion in 2016 to N641billion in 2017.
Total assets stood at 3.9%, while shareholdersâ€™ funds rose to â‚¦625.2billion. In terms of assets quality, Non- performing loan ratio (NPL) grew to 7.7% in December 2017 from 3.7% in 2016 financial year. This, according to the bank was largely as a result of classification of a single exposure within the Nigerian Telecommunications Industry.
Agbaje however explained that NLPs would moderate to 4.6%, below regulatory threshold, if the 9mobile loan was excluded from NPL ratio computation.
The bank in a recent notification to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), said its board of directors would meet on April 18, 2018 to consider its financial statements.