Diamond Bank Plc has recorded a loss of N9.011 billion for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared with a profit after tax of N3.498 billion in 2016.
But the chief executive of the bank, Uzoma Dozie has expressed optimism, saying that with the actionsÂ already taken, coupled with the pick up in economic activities, Diamond Bank would turn a profit this year.
The audited results showed gross earnings of N189.622 billion, up from N184.056 billion posted in 2016. Net interest income fell from N96.543 billion in 2017, compared with N98.284 billion in 2016. Net fee and commission income stood at N37.068 billion, from N41.432 billion in 2016. Net impairment stood at N56.830 billion in 2017, down marginally from N57.015 billion in 2016. Total expenses rose from N83.569 billion to N88.847 billion in 2017. The bank ended the year with loss after tax of N9.011 billion in 2017, compared with profit after tax of N3.498 billion in 2016.
Commenting on the results, Dozie said the bank madeÂ Â Â progress in executing its technology-led retail banking strategy in 2017.
â€œWe increased our market share and drove scale through a combination of technology and expansion of our services across additional platforms. For instance, we made additional inroads to the unbanked and underbanked populations with the support of our international partners. In addition, the rapid rollout of products and services for entrepreneurs, and small and medium business owners gained significant traction and is a trend that is set to continue.
Â According to him, at a macro level, the economic environment improved, albeit marginally. â€œAgainst this backdrop and Nigeriaâ€™s broader positive fundamentals, we disposed of some non-core assets to optimise the use of our resources and focus on the significant potential of our domestic market. By taking this action, Diamond Bank is better positioned to accelerate its growth, productivity and profitability in the short to medium term,â€ Dozie said.
Â â€œAlthough more work is to be done, particularly in relation to our oil and gas exposure, overall the quality of the loan book has improved. This will remain a key area of focus over the next 12 months. Looking ahead, I am optimistic that due to the actions we have taken as well as an improving economy, Diamond Bank will continue to make good progress and achieve greater profitability,â€ he added.