Business

Access Bank to pay N7.23b interim dividend

Shareholders approve Access Bank’s N18.8b dividend

Access Bank will be distributing N7.23 billion to its shareholders as interim dividend for the first half of this year after the commercial bank sustained impressive growth in key earnings indicators. Shareholders will receive a dividend per share of 25 kobo.

The highlights of the bank’s audited report and accounts for the period ended June 30, 2017 showed that gross earnings rose by 42 per cent to N246.6 billion in the first half of 2017 as against N174.1 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2016.

The growth in gross earnings was driven by 66 per cent increase in interest income on the back of continued growth in the bank’s core business and 34 per cent non-interest income underlined by strong foreign exchange income on the bank’s trading portfolio.

The bank’s profit before tax also showed an increase of 18 per cent from N43.9 billion recorded during the same period in 2016. Profit after tax grew by a similar margin from N33.6 billion in first half 2016 to N39.5 billion in first half 2017.

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Similarly, the bank posted 29 per cent growth in operating income to N167.5 billion from N130.2 billion in 2016. Total Asset was flat at N3.46 trillion as at June 2017 in comparison to N3.48 trillion in December 2016. Access Bank’s capital adequacy ratio (CAR) remained solid at 21.6 per cent, well above the regulatory minimum.

Commenting on the result, Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe said Access Bank’s performance in the first half of the year reflected the strength and sustainability of its business as well as the effective execution of its strategy.

“We maintained stable asset quality, recording non-performing loans and cost of risk ratios of 2.5 per cent and 1.0 per cent, respectively and wound down on our foreign currency exposures as a deliberate strategy to de-risk the business.

“As we cautiously grow our loan portfolio in light of macro realities, we will continue to uphold our proactive risk management principles in order to maintain asset quality within acceptable limits. Whilst balancing our appetite for growth and profitability, we remain committed to maintaining solid liquidity and capital ratios,” Wigwe said.

He said the bank’s retail expansion drive has led to investments in our channels, distribution network, service quality and brand enhancement.

Wigwe said while AMCON charges resulted in higher operating expenses in the period, the bank will continue to intensify the implementation of its cost reduction initiatives in order to improve the bottom-line despite high inflationary environment.

“In view of the recovering macro, our focus remains growing the retail franchise through digital expansion to enable diversified earnings as well as continuous and proactive risk management as we selectively grow risk assets. We will remain resilient in the execution of our bold strategy for increased growth and profitability whilst maximizing shareholder value in 2017 and beyond,” Wigwe noted

 

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Chidi Chinedu

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