By Nume Ekeghe
Sterling Bank Plc has released its results for the half-year ended June 30, 2020, which showed that it realised profit after tax (PAT) of N5.4 billion, compared with the N5.7 billion during the comparable period in 2019.
The bank’s gross earnings also stood at N70.2 billion in the period under review, as against the N72.3 billion it made during the corresponding period of 2019.
The bank also reported a net interest income of N33.5 billion during the half-year ended June 30, 2020, as against N30.4 billion during the corresponding period of 2019, which represented a growth of 10.1 percent.
The bank’s total assets also rose by 9.4 percent to N1.294 trillion during the review period from N1.183 trillion in 2019, while customer deposits inched up by 2.5 percent to N915.2 billion in 2020 from N892.7 billion in 2019.
The lender closed the half-year with a trading income of N3.9 billion as against N1.2 billion for the corresponding period of 2019, representing a remarkable increase of 242.8 percent.
Commenting on the financial performance, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, in a statement explained: “Our impressive half-year performance in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic disruption belies the rough seas ahead. In the second quarter of the reporting period, we focused on empowering our stakeholders to respond to the unprecedented disruption occasioned by prolonged restriction to movement while supporting them to adapt to new ways of banking.
“Our commitment to digitisation was validated as we continued to serve existing and new customers through our mobile and digital platforms. We also responded to the uncertainty by doubling down on cost optimisation while leveraging our existing remote work policy to keep our workforce productive without risking COVID-19 infection.
“Notwithstanding rising inflation, we were able to moderate operating expenses during H1 2020 to deliver a net profit comparable to the first half of 2019.”