Sterling Bank Plc has recorded gross earnings of N32.9 billion in the first quarter ended March 31, 2020, compared with N35.270 billion in 2019. The bank posted net operating income of N18.779 billion in 2020, compared with N18.565 billion during the corresponding period of 2019. This represented an increase of 1.2 per cent.
Profit before tax stood at N2.219 billion, down from N3.273 billion, while profit after tax (PAT) printed at N2.065 billion compared with N3.240 billion in 2019.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of the bank, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, explained that the bank’s net trading income grew remarkably to N984 million as against N435 million during the corresponding period, representing an increase of 126.2 percent, despite a very challenging macro-economic environment.
According to the bank, drop in net profit was to a combination of a decline in fees and commission income following the downward review of transactional charges and a slight increase in total expenses which rose from N15.3 billion in 2019 to N16.6 billion in 2020. The increase was driven, the bank added, mainly by other operating expenses and depreciation and amortisation costs. Income tax expense also went up from N33 million in 2019 to N154 million in 2020.
However, the bank was able to reduce its non-performing loans from 2.2 percent to two percent during the review period reported a net operating income of N18.779 billion during its first quarter ended March 31, 2020 compared with N18.565 billion during the corresponding period of 2019, representing an increase of 1.2 per cent.
However, the CEO added that the bank’s deposit base rose to N898.576 billion in the first quarter of 2020 from N892.660 billion in the corresponding period of 2019, loans and advances up to N627.122 billion from N618.732 while total assets rose to N1.231 trillion from N1.182 trillion, representing a growth of 4.1 per cent.
Also, during the review period, the bank managed to reduce cost of funds further by 18.4 per cent on the back of growth in low cost deposits, resulting in a growth in net interest income to N15.449 billion.
Meanwhile, the stock market opened the week on negative note as investors took profit on banking stocks. As a result, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) fell by 0.39 per cent to 23,950.83.