Despite the harsh operating environment, a half-year (H1) Profit Before Tax (PBT) of N25.1 billion has been posted by Fidelity Bank Plc for its 2022 operations, as against N20.6 billion achieved in the corresponding period in 2021.
Analysis of the bank’s half year performance showed that PBT rose by 21.6 per cent, from N20.6 billion to N25.1 billion, while gross earnings increased by 37.9 per cent from N154.8 billion on account of 52.9 per cent growth in interest income.
According to the bank, the rise in interest income was driven by improved yield on earnings assets and 14.9 per cent YTD expansion in earnings base to N2.54 trillion.
The bank’s net interest margin improved to 6.4 per cent from 4.7 per cent in 2021, due to a combination of improved yields on average earning assets and a decline in average funding cost.
Also, the bank’s average yields on earning assets increased by 211bps to 11.5 per cent, while average funding cost declined by 84bps to 4.0 per cent, resulting in 50.4 per cent growth in net interest income to N75.6 billion.
The bank grew total deposits by 13.1 per cent to N2.29 trillion driven by double-digit growth in low-cost deposits.
Based on the improved performance, the directors of the bank, in pursuant to the powers vested in it by Section 426 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA 2020), are proposing an interim dividend of 10 kobo per share making it the first time the bank will pay an interim dividend in its 34 years history.
This will be presented for ratification by shareholders at the next AGM. Payment of the interim dividend is subject to withholding tax at the applicable rate of 10 per cent, which will be deducted before payment.
Commenting on the performance, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, said: “We are delighted with our H1, 2022 performance which showed strong growth across key performance indices.
According to her, with improved efficiency and customer experience around its network, customer transactions have grown considerably as the bank optimises its balance sheet and builds up a large stock of stable low-cost deposits.
On the proposed acquisition, Onyeali-Ikpe said: “We recently executed a binding agreement for the acquisition of 100.0% equity stake in Union Bank UK Plc in line with our strategic objectives and business expansion drive.
“Union Bank UK offers a compelling synergy we hope to build on, to create a scalable and more sustaining service franchise that will support the wider ecosystem of our trade businesses and diaspora banking services.”