Sterling Bank Plc has reported gross earnings of N74.499 billion for the half year ended June 30, 2019, down from N77.608 billion in the corresponding period of 2018. Net interest income growth grew by 19.1 per cent to N30.4 billion as against N25.5 billion for the corresponding period of 2018.
However, profit after tax fell from N6.214 billion to N5.662 billion.
Overall the bank recorded a 5.5 percent improvement in operating income and a profit after tax of N5.66 billion. But customer deposit grew to N818.6 billion during the period under review compared to N760.6 billionin 2018, indicating a growth of 7.6 percent, while total assets grew by 4.8 per cent to N1.156 trillion against N1.102 trillion in 2018.
Commenting on the financial performance, Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, said: “Underlying our half year performance was a concerted effort in improving the quality of our funding base, increasingly through digital products and initiatives. Though top line earnings were impacted by a selective approach to lending, the bank remained focused on building a sustainable business model and continued to see considerable improvement across business lines, particularly our retail and consumer and digital and transactional banking businesses.”
According to him, the bank managed to achieve a 14 percent decline in interest expense in line with the bank’s strategic objectives, resulting in a 170 basis points drop in cost of funds and, consequently, a 131 basis points increase in net interest margin.
He noted that bank achieved 14.5 per cent growth in low cost funds, delivering a 7.6 per cent growth in customer deposits while net operating income grew by 4.3 per cent.
Personnel costs rose by 14 per cent in line with the bank’s commitment to intensify strategy execution, as operating expense grew by 6.1 per cent while a continuous growth in retained earnings delivered a 12.7 per cent increase in shareholders’ funds to N110.1 billion.
Meanwhile, gains recorded by MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc and NASCON Allied Industries Plc led to a positive close by the stock market yesterday. The Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index appreciated by 0.11 per cent to close at 27,748.46, while market capitalisation added N14.7 billion to close at N13.5 trillion.
Consequently, the year-to-date loss settled at 11.7 per cent, while volume and value traded fell 61.4 per cent and 57.2 per cent to close at 97.4 million shares N1.8 billion respectively.