By Nkiruka Nnorom
Fidelity Bank Plc has announced a 53.9 percent growth in Profit Before Tax (PBT) to N10.1 billion for the first quarter ended march 31, 2021 (Q1’21) as against N6.6 billion posted in the corresponding period of 2020 (Q1’20).
Details of the unaudited results, released at the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) showed that the net revenue for the period increased by 13.4 percent to N34.4 billion from N30.3 billion in Q1’20.
Giving details of the performance, Mrs Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Managing Director of the bank, stated: “We commenced the year showing impressive double-digit growth in profitability and improved performance across key efficiency indices whilst ensuring our business model continued to deliver strong positive results in line with our guidance for the 2021 financial year.
“Gross Earnings increased by 7.7 percent Year-on-Year (YoY) to N55.1 billion on account of 66.7 percent growth in non-interest revenue to N12.1 billion from N7.2 billion in Q1’20.
In absolute terms, the increase in net interest revenue (NIR) came from foreign exchange related income, digital banking income and account maintenance charge among others as total customers’ induced transactions across all our service channels increased by 30.4 percent YoY and 17.1 percent QoQ.
“Net interest margin remained unchanged at 6.3 percent compared to 2020 as the drop in average funding cost offset the decline in average yields on earning assets. Average funding cost dropped to 2.5 percent from 3.6 percent in full year 2020 due to a combination of improved deposit mix and a slight moderation in average borrowing cost.
This led to 26.2 percent decline in total interest expenses, which translated to 17.1 percent increase in net interest income to N28.8 billion despite a 4.3 percent increase in interest bearing liabilities.
“We refinanced our 7-Yr N30.0 billion Tier II bonds issued in 2015 at 16.48 percent p.a. with cheaper 10-Yr N41.2 billion Tier II bonds priced at 8.5 percent p.a., which led to a 61bpts drop in average borrowing cost to 4.5 percent.”