·… Proposes 20k dividend per share
Fidelity Bank Plc said its Profit Before Tax (PBT) rose by 21 per cent to N30.4billion compared with N25.1billion recorded in the previous year.
This is even as the bank said it delivered another impressive full year result, sustaining the sterling financial performance that has been witnessed by the top lender in recent years.
The bank’s Full Year 2019 results released Monday on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), showed strong growth across key income and balance-sheet lines. Gross Earnings grew by 14 per cent to N215.5billon from N189.0billion in 2018, while Profit before tax rose by 21 per cent to N30.4billion compared with N25.1billion recorded in the previous year.
Similarly, net profits surged by 24 per cent from N22.9billion from 2018 in 2018 to N28.4billion in 2019.
Buoyed by the performance, the bank plans to pay a dividend of 20 kobo per share translating to N5.8billion compared to the dividend of 11 kobo paid in 2018.
In other indices, Net Interest Income increased by 13.2 per cent to N83.1billion in 2018.
Net Operating Income rose by 15.6 per cent from N97.2billon to N112.3billion while Total Assets grew by 22.9 per cent from N1,719.9billion to N2,114.0billion in the period under review.
Commenting on the results, Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, expressed delight with the performance.
“We are delighted at the results which clearly showed that we sustained our performance trajectory and continued to increase our market share driven by significant traction in our chosen business segments”, he said.
On Digital Banking, he said the results were enhanced by new initiatives in the retail lending segment and the deepening of the bank’s existing digital products.
“We now have 47.4per cent of our customers enrolled on the mobile/internet banking products, 82 per cent of total transactions now done on digital platforms and 31.1per cent of fee-based income now coming from our digital banking business”, he stated.
He further revealed that the efforts aimed at strengthening the bank’s foothold of the retail market was yielding significant results with savings deposits rising by 20.7 per cent to N275.2billion making it the sixth consecutive year of double-digit growth.
“Savings deposits now accounts for about 22.5 per cent of total deposits, an attestation of our increasing market share in the retail segment” , Okonkwo further stated.
Just as was seen with deposit growth, there was also a corresponding increase in the bank’s retail assets.
Specifically, retail loans grew by 42.9 per cent to N53.8billion driven by the bank’s new digital lending products and partnership with Fintechs.
As at December 2019, the bank had disbursed over 70,000 micro-loans on its flagship digital lending product (Fidelity FastLoan) in partnership with Migo.
Conversely, there was a remarkable improvement in Non-performing loans (NPLs).
The bank’s NPL ratio dropped to 3.3 per cent from 5.7 per cent in the 2018 Full Year due primarily to the growth in the loan book and a 25.1 per cent decline in absolute NPLs resulting from the loan write-offs of over N12 billon.