01 April 2015, Lagos – Fidelity Bank Plc’s audited financial results for the year ended December 31, 2014 has revealed that the bank made a profit before tax of N15.5 billion.
This represents a growth by 72 per cent, compared with the N9.028 billion the bank realised in 2013. Similarly, Fidelity Bank’s profit after tax increased by 79 per cent to N13.796 billion, from N7.271 billion in 2013.
The directors of the bank in the full year 2014 report presented on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, also proposed a dividend of 18 kobo per share.
The bank’s interest income also increased by 21 per cent to N104.3 billion in the year under review, as against the N86.3 billion recorded in the 2013 full year, just as its net interest income before impairments climbed by 58 per cent to N48.8 billion, from N30.8 billion in 2013.
Furthermore, results showed that Fidelity Bank’s operating income increased by 15 per cent to N72.6 billion, from N63.3 billion in the 2013 full year, while its total expenses increased by five per cent to N57.1 billion, from N54.3 billion the previous year.
Similarly, the bank’s net loans and advances increased by 27 per cent to N541.7 billion, from N426.1 billion recorded in 2013, just as its customer deposits increased by two per cent to N820 billion, from N806.3 billion in 2013.
Commenting on the results, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo said: “Our 2014 performance is a testament to the significantly improved optimisation of our balance sheet. PBT growth of 72 per cent was driven by a 27 per cent growth in the loan book while cost of funds declined over the period. This translated to a 58 per cent growth in net interest income and a 200 basis points growth in net interest margin to six per cent. Cost of risk normalised to 0.8 per cent from 1.9 per cent in the 2013 full year.
“Our retail banking strategy gathered increased momentum in 2014 with the bank acquiring over 471,000 new retail customers and core low-cost retail deposits grew by 18 per cent which impacted positively on our funding cost.
“We also witnessed improved operational efficiency as the bank leveraged alternative electronic channels to reduce our cost to serve, operating expenses (excluding regulatory costs) grew by three per cent year-on-year which was significantly below the inflation rate.”
According to Okonkwo, the bank’s key regulatory ratios remained well above set limits which he said resulted in the proposed dividend pay-out of 18 kobo per share.