Access Bank Plc has posted a profit after tax of N61.990 billion for the financial year ended December 31, 2017 from N71.439 billion posted in 2016.
In the audited financial results released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Access Bank recorded a total income of N459.1 billion, representing an increase of 20 per cent over N381.3 billion recorded in the same period in 2016.
Growth in gross earnings was boosted by a 29 per cent increase in interest income to N319.9 billion in 2017, from N247.2 billion in FY 2016 whilst net interest income grew by 17 per cent from N163,452 billion in FY 2017, from N139,148 billion in the comparative period of 2016. Similarly, Non-Interest Income grew 4 per cent to N139.1billion, in FY 2017 from N133.4 billion in 2016, leading to an 11 per cent increase in the Group’s operating income to N302,596 billion in FY 2017, from N272,605 billion in FY 2016.
The management noted that the growth in the Group’s earnings was underlined by an expansion in its core business, on the back of an enhanced asset book. Loans and advances grew 11 per cent to N2,064 trillion in 2017, from N1,855 trillion in December 2016. Total assets grew 18 per cent to N4,102 trillion in December 2017, from N3,484 trillion in the corresponding period in 2016. Additionally, the Group recorded an increase of 13 per cent in Shareholder returns of N515 billion in December 2017, from N454 billion in the corresponding period in 2016.
Although the Group posted significant growth in earnings, the adverse lingering effects of the macro on asset quality in the industry led to the Bank taking prudent provisions in the course of the year, thereby dampening profitability, as Profit before tax declined 11 per cent to N80.1 billion in FY 2017 from N90.3 billion in FY 2016.
The Group proposes a final dividend of 40 kobo per share to its shareholders, in addition to 25 kobo interim dividend paid during the period, making a total of 65Kobo for the financial year. The dividend is subject to approval at the Annual General Meeting.