First Bank Group grows Q1 earnings by 24 per cent to N126.8b

First Bank

First Bank

FBN Holdings Plc has posted gross earnings of N126.8 billion, representing 23.5 per cent rise year-on-year, in its unaudited results for the first quarter of 2015 financial year ended March 31, against N102.6 billion of the corresponding period of 2014

The result also showed that net interest income rose by 1.3 per cent year-on-year to N59.6 billion, compared with N58.8 billion in the same period of 2014, while non-interest income of N29.3 billion in the period under review showed a 51.2 per cent year-on-year increase, against N19.3 billion of 2014.

Operating income rose to N88.8 billion, showing 13.9 per cent year-on-year increase, compared with N78.0 billion of the corresponding period of 2014, while impairment charge for credit losses of N4.1 billion was recorded against N1.7
Billion in 2014, representing 138.4 per cent year-on-year increase.

The result also showed that operating expenses of N57.8 billion, up by 11.9 per cent year-on-year against N51.6 billion of 2014 was recorded.

The financial institution however, grew profit before tax by 8.7 per cent to N26.9 billion when measured year-on-year against N24.8 billion in the same period of 2014, with profit after tax put at N22.6 billion, up 4.9 per cent year-on-year compared to N21.6 billion in the previous year.

The lender’s total assets also rose to N4.5 trillion, showing 3.9 per cent increase year-to-date in contrast with N4.3 trillion recorded in December 2014, while customer loans and advances (net) at N2.1 trillion, showed a 2.6 per cent year-to-date decline, compared to N2.2 trillion level as at December 2014.

However, customer deposits rose to N3.2 trillion, up by 5.1 per cent year-to-date, against N3.1 trillion as at December 2014

The bank’s cost to income ratio of 65.1 per cent indicated a marginal decline compared to 66.2 per cent in the corresponding period of 2014, with non performing loan ratio put at 3.8 per cent, showing an increase when compared to 3.6 per cent as at March 2014.

The Group also strengthened its liquidity ratio to 42.5 per cent against 36.8 per cent in March 2014, while the capital adequacy ratio rose to 19.1 per cent when measured under Basel 2 principle, against 16.8 per cent in the corresponding period of 2014.

The Group Chief Executive Officer, Bello Maccido, said: “The Group has sustained its leading position in the financial services industry, posting a 23.5 per cent growth in gross earnings at N126.8 billion. In spite of the volatile political and macroeconomic environment that has characterised the first quarter, we returned a profit before tax of N26.9 billion, a nine per cent increase over the same period in 2014.

“Given this we are cautiously optimistic about the rest of the year, as the country and economy benefits from improving confidence, and remain focused on managing effectively the macroeconomic challenges.

“We expect improved traction from investments committed in the prior year to diversify revenue streams and enhance profitability. We will continue building a resilient business and drive efficiencies towards delivering sustainable returns to our esteemed shareholders.”

Also, commenting on the results with respect to the contributions of the commercial Banking Group, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Bisi Onasanya said: “FirstBank begins the year on a positive note in spite of the uncertainties in the operating environment with a 12.3 per cent year-on-year increase in profit before tax at N21.9 billion, reinforcing the resilience of our business.

“We are committed to further driving operational efficiencies, enhancing customer experience, maintaining the highest standards in risk management and ultimately improving profitability of our business.”

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