Fidelity Bank posts N124.3bn pre-tax profit in 2023

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Fidelity Bank Plc has recorded a profit before tax of N124.3 billion for the year ended Dec. 31, 2023, indicating 131.5 per cent increase from N53.7 billion posted in the 2022 finacial year.

The bank disclosed this in its 2023 full year audited financial statement issued to the Nigerian Exchange Ltd. (NGX) on Tuesday in Lagos.

Fidelity Bank said it would also be paying investors a final dividend of 60k per share and total dividend of 85 kobo per share for the reporting period.

This represents a 70 per cent increase compared to the 50 kobo per share paid to its shareholders in the previous year.

The financial institution stated that this led to an increase in Return on Average Equity (RoAE) of 26.5 per cent in the year under review, from 15.6 per cent in the corresponding year.

According to the financial statement, the bank grew its gross earnings by 64.9 per cent year-on-year, to N555.83 billion.

The bank stated that this was driven by 81.6 per cent growth in net interest income which increased from N152.7 billion in year 2022 to N277.37 billion in the 2023 financial year.

This led to a profit after tax of N99.45 billion, representing a 112.9 per cent annual growth.

Commenting on the performance, Dr Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Managing Director, Fidelity Bank, said that the financial institution closed the financial year with strong double-digit growth across key income and balance-sheet lines.

Onyeali-Ikpe stated that the bank’s performance in 2023 was an attestation of its capacity to deliver superior returns to shareholders despite the difficulties in our operating environment.

She said: “A review of the financial performance showed that the bank grew its net interest income by 81.6 per cent to N277.4 billion.

“This was driven by a 55.5 per cent increase in interest income, thus reflecting a steady rise in asset yield throughout the year.

“The average funding cost dropped by 20bps to 4.4 per cent due to increased low-cost funds that grew from 83.6 per ent in 2022 to 97.4 per cent in 2023.

“The combination of higher asset yield and lower funding cost led to an increase in Net Interest Margin (NIM) of 8.1 per cent from 6.3 per cent in 2022 financial year.”

According to her, the total customer deposits crossed the N4 trillion mark, as deposits grew by 55.6 per cent from N2.6 trillion in 2022.

She noted that the increase was driven by 81.1 per cent growth in low-cost funds.

Onyeali-Ikpe explained that despite the challenging operating environment, the bank reaffirmed its devotion to helping individuals grow and inspiring businesses to thrive.

She said the bank also committed to empowering economies to prosper by increasing net loans and advances to N3.1 trillion from N2.1 trillion in 2022 financial year.

The managing director stated that despite the growth in its loan portfolio, regulatory ratios were maintained well above the required thresholds.

Onyeali-Ikpe noted that the bank liquidity ratio stood at 45.3 per cent in the year ended 2023, from 39.6 per cent in the year 2022, while capital adequacy ratio rose to 16.2 per cent, compared to the minimum requirement of 15.0 per cent.

“We recognise the changing dynamics in the Nigerian banking space and the need to monitor and proactively manage evolving risks.

“The proposed final dividend of 60 kobo per share reflects our commitment to strong value creation and returns to our shareholders.

“Fidelity Bank has consistently paid dividend since 2006,” she said.(NAN)

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