Sterling Bank Plc has recorded strong growths in the top bottom line in 2017 as the commercial bank rode on the back of widening income sources and improving operating efficiency to increase net earnings by 65 percent.
The banks audited report and accounts the year ended December 31, 2017, released at the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, showed considerable improvements in key performance indices. Gross earnings rose by 19.8 per cent from N111.4 billion in 2016 to N133.5 billion. Profit-before-tax increase to N8.61 billion in 2017 as against N6.0 billion in 2016. Profit after tax grew by 65 per cent from N5.16 billion in 2016 to N8.52 billion in 2017.
Top-line performance was driven by growth in both interest and non-interest income, which rose by 11.3 per cent and 87.8 per cent respectively. The bank’s net operating income increased by 7.9 per cent while cost-to-income ratio improved by 260 basis points to 71.5 per cent.
Customer deposits increased by 17.1 per cent to N684.8 billion in 2017 as against N584.7 billion in 2016. Shareholders’ funds rose by 20.2 per cent to N102.9 billion in 2017 as against N85.7 billion in 2016, reaffirming the bank’s commitment to returning value to its shareholders.
The board of directors of the bank has recommended distribution of N575.8 million as cash dividend for the 2017 business year, representing a dividend per share of 2.0 kobo.
Abubakar Suleiman, chief executive officer, Sterling Bank Plc, said the 2017 performance that highlighted positive performance across key financial indices despite challenging operating conditions reaffirms the bank’s underlying institutional strength.
“The non-interest banking business continued to gain significant traction, adding positively to our bottom-line. This performance underscores the commitment of the entire team to our corporate goals and the resilience of our business model,” he said.
Suleiman said the bank maintained a disciplined and prudent approach to loan growth in line with its risk management framework, a development which resulted in a significant improvement in asset quality as reflected in the reduction of non-performing loan ratio by 370 basis points to 6.2 per cent.
He noted that the bank continued to scale its business with support from a well-diversified funding base, pointing out that for the first time, the bank recorded N1.1 trillion in total assets from N834.2 billion in 2016, representing a 28.7 per cent growth.
According to him, the bank also gained traction in its retail drive with an active customer base that exceeded three million resulting in 17.1 per cent growth in deposits. During the year, the bank’s liquidity and capital adequacy ratios remained sound and well above the required regulatory benchmark at 33 per cent and 12.2 per cent, respectively.
The bank prioritized efficiency across its businesses as it progressed on its digital transformation journey by successfully launching “Specta”, an innovative online lending platform which offers personal loans within five minutes. It also invested in a first-rate business process management tool to optimize operating efficiency while providing its customers with ‘best in class’ service.
– Apr. 20, 2018 @ 15:49 GMT