By Goddy Egene
Access Bank Plc last Friday announced a growth of 58 per cent in its profit after tax (PAT)for the financial year ended December 31, 2018. In the audited results, Access Bank Plc’s gross earnings rose 15 per cent to N528.7billion in 2018, up from N459.1billion in 2017, with interest and non-interest income contributing 72 per cent and 26 per cent respectively.
Profit before tax (PBT) for the period was N103.2billion, showing 32 per cent growth from N78.2billionin 2017 while return on average equity (ROAE) stood at 19.0 per cent with a return on asset of 2.1 per cent in 2018. Profit after Tax(PAT) grew to N95.0 billion from N60.1 billion in 2017.
Based on the performance, the bank has proposed a final dividend of 25 kobo per share bringing total dividend for the year to 50 kobo per share.
A further breakdown of the results showed that asset base of the bank remained strong and diversified with growth of 21 per cent to N4.95trillion in December 2018 from N4.10trillion in December 2017. Loans and advances stood at ₦N2.14 trillion as at December 2018, compared with N2.06 trillion in 2017.
Customers’ deposits increased by 14 per cent to N2.57trillion in December 2018, from N2.25trillion in December 2017. Capital adequacy ratio (CAR) was at 20.8 per cent, taking into consideration the regulatory transitional arrangement of IFRS 9 implementation.
In his comments on the bank’s performance, Group Managing Director/CEO, Herbert Wigwe said:“2018 marked a significant year of progress for the Bank amidst an unfavourable macro climate. We made solid progress throughout 2018 in line with our 2018-2022 five-year strategy, and we remain committed to the achievement of our strategic imperatives going forward; as we continue to invest in our people and technology in order to improve operational efficiency and service touch points with earnings growth in 2019.”
He said that the contribution of the bank’s subsidiaries to group profits grew 116 per cent to N27.9billion, underlined by the effective implementation of overall strategy.
Wigwe said:“In pursuit of our vision to be one of the leading banks in Nigeria, we took accelerated strides in the last quarter of the year towards achieving our overall retail strategy. The merger with Diamond Bank will enable us to fully entrench ourselves in the retail market with a view to lowering our funding cost. This transaction is anticipated to be completed by April 2019, resulting in the creation of an enlarged, efficient and digitally led tier 1 retail banking franchise.” .