Some shareholders of Sterling Bank Plc have expressed excitement over the 39 per cent profit growth for the nine months ended September 30, 2018, recorded by the financial institution, saying it will translates to higher dividends at the end of the year.
Sterling Bank sustained its steady growth in profitability with profit before tax growing by 29.5 per cent to N8.5 billion as against N6.5 billion in corresponding period of 2017, just as profit after tax rose by 39 per cent from N5.9 billion to N8.2 billion. Consequently, earnings per share improved from 21 kobo to 28 kobo.
Reacting to the results, Mr. Moses Igbrude of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) said it was highly commendable that the bank recorded significant growth in the period where growth is marginal.
“Sterling Bank Plc must be commended on this performance. It is sign of good things to come for us shareholders of the bank. The management and board deserve our support,” Igbrude said.
The commercial bank posted 21 per cent growth in gross earnings from N94.6 billion to N114.6 billion in 2018.
Customer deposits increased to N723.2 billion by September 2018 from N685.0 billion in December 2017. The bank’s net loans and advances increased by 10.7 per cent to N662.0 billion from N598.0 billion in December 2017. Total assets improved to N1.08 trillion as against N1.07 trillion recorded at the beginning of the year while shareholders’ funds increased from N102.9 billion in December 2017 to N106.2 billion in September 2018.
The Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman had said the bank was been able to sustain its steady growth due to focused implementation of its strategic intent of exceeding customers’ expectations.
According to him, the robust growth of 31.2 per cent in non-interest income was driven by a growth in trading and transaction banking revenues, as the bank continues to prioritize efficiency of its digital banking platforms to support its retail drive.
“Our strategic intent to be more customer-focused has continued to yield results; one of such recorded in the last quarter is the increase in the volume of transactions processed through our various electronic platforms since the start of the year. We achieved over one million monthly NIBBS Instant Payment transactions as at July 2018, a 73 per cent increase from the start of the year and expect to see continuing traction in this regard,” Suleiman said.