Access Bank Plc on Friday March 15, 2019 released its audited financial statement for the period ended December 31, 2018, declaring a 25 kobo final dividend.
The bank proposed final dividend of 25 kobo making a total dividend of 50 kobo, when added with the interim dividend that was paid last year.
Register of shareholders closes on Friday April 12, 2019, qualification date is Thursday April 11, 2019. Payment and Annual General Meeting (AGM) date is, April 25, 2019 respectively.
Key highlight of the result shows that gross earnings rose by 15.18 percent from N459 billion in 2017 to N528.7 billion in 2018. Profit after tax increase largely by 58.1 percent, recording N94.8 billion against N60.1 billion that was declared in 2017.
Profit before tax was up by 32 percent from N78.2 billion in 2017 to N103.2 billion. Earnings per share was up by 56.87 percent from 2.11 kobo to 3.31 kobo in 2018. The bank recorded huge gains on investment securities, posting N96.3 billion in the period under review when compared to a loss of N33.4 billion in 2017.
Impairment charges declined by 57.5 percent from N34.5 billion in 2017 to N14.7 billion in 2018, while net interest income rose by 6.2 percent. The bank recorded net foreign exchange loss of N23.7 billion compared to a gain of N107.9 billion that was recorded in 2017.
The asset base of the Bank remained strong and diversified with growth of 21% YTD in total assets to ₦4.95 trillion in December 2018 from ₦4.10 trillion in December 2017. Loans and Advances totaled ₦2.14 trillion as at December 2018 (December 2017: ₦2.06 trillion). Customer deposits increased by 14% to ₦2.57 trillion in December 2018, from ₦2.25 trillion in December 2017. Capital Adequacy (CAR) remained adequate at 20.8%, taking into consideration the regulatory transitional arrangement of IFRS 9 implementation. On a full impact basis, CAR stood at 19.9%. Similarly, Liquidity ratios of 50.9% (December 2017: 47.2%), remained well above regulatory requirements.
Commenting on the Bank’s performance during the period, Group Managing Director/CEO, Herbert Wigwe said, “2018 marked a significant year of progress for the Bank amidst an unfavourable macro climate. We made solid progress throughout 2018 in line with our 2018-2022 five-year strategy, and we remain committed to the achievement of our strategic imperatives going forward; as we continue to invest in our people and technology in order to improve operational efficiency and service touch points with earnings growth in 2019.”
According to him, the contribution of the Bank’s subsidiaries to Group profits grew 116% to ₦27.9 billion, underlined by the effective implementation of overall strategy.
“In pursuit of our vision to be one of the leading Banks in Nigeria, we took accelerated strides in the last quarter of the year towards achieving our overall retail strategy. The merger with Diamond Bank will enable us to fully entrench ourselves in the retail market with a view to lowering our funding cost. This transaction is anticipated to be completed by April 2019, resulting in the creation of an enlarged, efficient and digitally led tier 1 retail banking franchise” he stated.
Photo Caption: Access Bank CEO Herbert Wigwe