FBN Holdings Plc on Monday declared profit after tax of N73.67 billion in its audited result for the financial year ended December 31, 2019.
The result, released by the Nigerian Stock Exchange, showed that the profit rose by 26.5 per cent when compared with N58.23 billion achieved in the comparative period of 2018.
Profit before tax stood at N83.59 billion, up by 30.9 per cent in contrast with N63.85 billion recorded in 2018.
Its gross earnings rose by 6.7 per cent to N627.01 billion from N587.41 billion in the corresponding period of 2018.
Net-interest income stood at N290.2 billion, up by 1.7 per cent in contrast with N285.3 billion in 2018.
Customer deposits increased by 15.3 per cent to N4.0 trillion compared with N3.5 trillion in 2018.
The company’s non-interest income appreciated by 20.6 per cent to N159.2 billion against N132.0 billion in 2018.
Further analysis of the result indicated that impairment charges was down by 41.5 per cent to N51.1 billion against N87.5 billion in the previous period.
Its total assets stood at N6.2 trillion, representing an increase of 11.4 per cent on the N5.6 trillion recorded in 2018.
Non Performing Loan ratio returned to single digit at 9.9 per cent against 24.7 per cent achieved in 2018.
The company, as a result of the impressive records, recommended a dividend of 38k to its shareholders, which will be approved at the Annual General Meeting slated for April 27.
Commenting on the results, Urum Kalu Eke, the company’s Group Managing Director, described 2019 as a positive year.
Eke said: “We are happy to close the 2019 financial year on positive notes across a number of key metrics, giving the Group a clean-slate to accelerate its growth plan as we conclude the 3-year Strategic Planning Cycle which ran from 2017-2019 and commence a new cycle.
“In line with our promise to the market, FBN Holdings closed the year with a 30.9 per cent y-o-y increase in profit before tax and delivered its target of a single digit NPL which closed at less than 10 per cent.
“Similarly, we successfully overhauled our risk management architecture, strengthened our processes by leveraging technology and institutionalising a strong credit culture across the lending entities.”
According to Eke, these deliberate steps have seen the NPL ratio of the company’s vintage book remain below 1 per cent.
He said: “In the same vein, we have made significant improvement in our revenue generation capacity with non-interest income benefiting from our market leadership in electronic banking channels.
“It is also noteworthy to highlight that our investments aimed at improving operational efficiencies and enhancing revenue accretion have resulted in higher cost-to-income ratio.
“The benefits of these investments will be realised in subsequent periods.
“The new cycle is focused on strengthening and positioning the various businesses across the Group for sustainable growth over the long-term.
“As a Group, we are committed to transforming our financial performance to tangible results for the benefit of all stakeholders especially our shareholders through enhanced returns and dividend payment.
“As a testament of the resolution of the legacy issues and an indication of the future, FirstBank re-commenced dividend upstream to the holding company.”