Access Bank Plc on Thursday released its audited half year ended June 30, 2021 results with 1.2 per cent increase in profit before tax to N97.5billion as against N74.31billion reported in prior half year result and accounts.
The lender on Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) also reported 42,4 per cent increase in profit to N86.94billion from N61.03billion reported in H1 2020.
With the increase in profit, yhe Board of Directors proposed interim dividend of 30 Kobo per ordinary share of 50 Kobo each (H1 2020: 25Kobo) each on the 35,545,225,622 issued ordinary shares of 50k each.
For the period under review, the bank reported 14 per cent increase in gross earnings to N450.62 billion as against N396.76 billion reported in H1 2020.
From the lender’s balance sheet, total assets hits N10.05 trillion, about 16 per cent increase from N8.68 trillion reported in full year ended December 31, 2020.
Impressive increase in total assets was driven by 11.3 per cent growth in Loans and advances to customers to N3.58 trillion as at June 30, 2021 from N3.2 trillion reported in 2020, while Deposits from customers appreciated by nearly seven per cent to N5.97 trillion as at June 30, 2021 from N5.58 trillion reported in 2020.
The Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe in a statement said the pan-African bank recorded a very strong performance in H1 2021, through its unique business model that supported the corporate and retail value chains throughout the African continent and beyond.
He said: “With improving profitability, resilient capital position and a robust, diversified balance sheet, the Group is on track to deliver on its vision to be the World’s Most Respected African Bank.
“The Group recorded an improvement in gross earnings by 14per cent y/y to N450.6 billion (H1 2020: N396.8 billion), while the profit before tax saw a significant increase of 31per cent y/y to N97.5 billion (H1 2020: N74.3 billion).
“Despite the inflationary environment and increased regulatory costs, our Cost-to-Income Ratio stood at 60.1per cent, a 570-basis point reduction from 65.8per cent in H1 2020.
“Our retail banking business continued to grow with a 24per cent y/y increase in gross earnings to N118.6 billion (H1 2020: N95.8 billion), driven by a 46per cent y/y increase in Interest Income and 37per cent y/y growth in revenue from our channels and digital businesses.
“During the period, we recorded progress in our financial inclusion objective to bank 1 in every 2 Nigerians. We added 2,371,832 new customers as well as 16,428 new agents, creating more employment and providing convenience to our customers.
“These strides in our retail business resulted in growth in savings deposits to N1.4 trillion, a four per cent growth from N1.3 trillion in December 2020, and a Cost of Funds reduction to 2.9per cent (H1 2020: 3.7per cent).”
He noted that the bank’s push for digital innovations to improve efficiency for customers resulted in significant increase in our USSD transaction volume (+62per cent y/y) and our Mobile and Internet Banking transactions volume (+67per cent y/y).
Speaking further, he said that despite the challenging economic backdrop, the bank maintained strong asset quality with a stable Non-Performing Loan (NPL) ratio of 4.3per cent (Dec. 2020 4.3per cent).
“We expanded our loan portfolio, supporting sectors with the highest impact on the economy, with good quality assets as reflected by the growth in our net loans and advances to N4 trillion YTD (Dec 2020: N3.6 trillion).
“Furthermore, we maintained robust capital and liquidity positions well above regulatory levels, with a Capital Adequacy Ratio of 21.3per cent and a liquidity ratio of 50.7per cent, positioning us to support our customers and execute our growth strategy.
“Over the last few months, we have successfully completed acquisitions in South Africa, Mozambique, and Zambia, emphasising our footprint in key markets around the globe.
“We will continue to grow our presence in geographies with significant growth potential, especially where they support our global customers.
“As we become Africa’s Gateway to the World, we would also seek markets which supports our trade and payments aspirations and the African Free Trade Agreement.
“To further enhance our operating efficiency and ensure strong returns on invested capital, we will bring the best of our group assets, specifically our digital banking capabilities that support individuals and businesses, enhance financial inclusion, and deliver the benefits of a strong network effect across our enlarged Group.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have been able to demonstrate our ability and willingness to support our customers, our communities, and our colleagues.
“As the outlook improves, and as business returns to a new normal, we will continue to support our communities in order to stimulate growth and create new opportunities.
“To accomplish our vision to be the World’s Most Respected African Bank, we are working together across the Group on the back of our robust balance sheet, increased retail momentum and efficiency,” he added.