Access BankGroup’s audited H1 results released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Wednesday showed Gross Earnings of N246.6 billion, up 42% from N174.1 billion in the corresponding period of 2016. The growth in gross earnings was driven by 66% increase in interest income on the back of continued growth in the Bank’s core business and 34% non-interest income underlined by strong FX income on the Bank’s trading portfolio.

The Bank’s Profit before Tax (PBT) also showed an increase of 18% from N43.9billion recorded during the same period in 2016. Profit after Tax (PAT) grew by a similar margin from N33.6 billion in 2016 to N39.5 billion in H1 2017.

Similarly, the Bank posted 29% growth in Operating Income to N167.5 billion from N130.2 billion in 2016. Total Asset was flat at ₦3.46trillion as at June 2017 in comparison to ₦3.48 trillion in December 2016.

Access Bank’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) remained solid at 21.6%, well above the regulatory minimum.

Commenting on the result, Group Managing Director/CEO, Herbert Wigwe said, “Access Bank’s performance in the first half of the year reflects the strength and sustainability of our business as well as the effective execution of our strategy.” According to him, the Group maintained stable asset quality, recording NPL and Cost of Risk Ratios (CRR) of 2.5% and 1.0%, respectively.
Following the release of the half year results, the Bank also declared an interim dividend of 25k to its shareholders.
“We maintained stable asset quality, recording non-performing loans and cost of risk ratios of 2.5% and 1.0%, respectively and wound down on our foreign currency exposures as a deliberate strategy to de-risk the business. As we cautiously grow our loan portfolio in light of macro realities, we will continue to uphold our proactive risk management principles in order to maintain asset quality within acceptable limits. Whilst balancing our appetite for growth and profitability, we remain committed to maintaining solid liquidity and capital ratios,” Wigwe added.

Further analysis of the result indicated a 38% increase y/y to N105.1 billion (H1 2016: N75.9 billion) and 34.8% q/q, driven majorly by the highly inflationary environment and devaluation impact on cost.

“Our retail expansion drive led to investments in our channels, distribution network, service quality and brand enhancement. These, as well as AMCON charges resulted in higher operating expenses in the period. We continue to, however, intensify the implementation of our cost reduction initiatives in order to improve the bottom-line despite high inflationary environment.
In view of the recovering macro, our focus remains growing the retail franchise through digital expansion to enable diversified earnings as well as continuous and proactive risk management as we selectively grow risk assets. We will remain resilient in the execution of our bold strategy for increased growth and profitability whilst maximizing shareholder value in 2017 and beyond,” Wigwe noted