18 March 2015, Lagos – The management of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc has set a profit before tax target of N120 billion for the 2015, which is only 3.4 per cent higher than N116 billion recorded for 2014. GTBank is one of the two banks that first declared their 2014 financial results, impressing stakeholders with improved bottom lines. The bank ended 2014 with PBT of N116 billion and profit after tax of N98.7 billion.
However, providing guidance of its performance for the current financial year, GTBank put its PBT a conservative N120 billion, showing a growth of 3.4 per cent compared with a growth of 8.7 per cent in 2014.
Commenting on the projection, analysts at FBN Capital Limited said the bank’s management provided what appears to be a deliberately conservative 2015 PBT guidance. According to the analysts, they have increased their forecast by 8.5 per cent to N125.7 billion, implying a growth of eight per cent.
“Given the current macro environment, this is quite strong. The drivers supporting growth in 2015 include a combination of slight margin expansion (thanks to re-pricing of assets, increased yields on fixed instruments and loan growth predominantly being driven by naira), loan growth of 15 per cent and stable asset quality ratios (in line with guidance). Despite increasing our 2015 estimated earnings per share ( EPS) forecast by 7.8 per cent, we have raised our price target by only 1.6 per cent to N23.2 because our risk free rate assumption is now 16 per cent (previously 15 per cent). We retain our Neutral rating,” they said.
The 2014 results of GTBank showed positive performance across most of all financial indices, reaffirming bank’s position as one of the most profitable and well managed financial institutions in Nigeria.
The bank’s balance sheet remains strong with 12.4 per cent growth in total assets, from N2.10trillion in 2013 to N2.36trillion in 2014. Loan book growth up by 27.12 per cent to close at N1.28trillion from N1.01trillion in 2013; driven primarily by growth of the foreign currency loan book, on the back of the 2013 $400 million Eurobond issue. The bank’s non-performing loans (NPL) ratio remained low at 3.15 per cent, down from 3.58 per cent in the comparative period of 2013.
Managing Director of GTBank, Mr. Segun Agbaje, had said the bank’s financial performance in 2014 attests to the inherent soundness of our strategy and resilience of our earnings.
“The Group has delivered a respectable PBT of N116.39billion in spite of all the headwinds the industry experienced in 2014. We remain committed to maximising shareholder value and delivering superior and sustainable returns. Our objective is to remain a leading player in the financial services sector whilst expanding our franchise in select, high growth African markets where we believe we have competitive advantage,” Agbaje said.
– This Day