Fidelity Bank Plc has delivered another impressive full year (FY) result, sustaining the sterling financial performance that has been witnessed by the top lender in recent years.
The bank’s FY 2019 results released on Monday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), showed strong growth across key income and balance-sheet lines. Gross Earnings grew by 14percent to N215.5billion from N189billion in 2018, whilst Profit before tax rose by 21percent to N30.4billion compared with N25.1billion recorded in the previous year. Similarly net profits surged by 24percent from N22.9billion from 2018 in 2018 to N28.4billion in 2019. Buoyed by the performance, the bank plans to pay a dividend of 20 kobo per share translating to N5.8billion compared to the dividend of 11 kobo paid in 2018.
In other indices, Net Interest Income increased by 13.2percent to N83.1billion in 2018. Net Operating Income rose by 15.6percent from N97.2billion to N112.3billion whilst Total Assets grew by 22.9percent from N1.719.9trillion to N2.114trillion in the period under review.
Commenting on the results, Fidelity Bank CEO, Nnamdi Okonkwo expressed delight with the performance “We are delighted at the results which clearly showed that we sustained our performance trajectory and continued to increase our market share driven by significant traction in our chosen business segments”, he said.
On Digital Banking he said the results were enhanced by new initiatives in the retail lending segment and the deepening of the bank’s existing digital products. According to him “We now have 47.4percent of our customers enrolled on the mobile/internet banking products, 82percent of total transactions now done on digital platforms and 31.1percent of fee-based income now coming from our digital banking business”.
He further revealed that the efforts aimed at strengthening the bank’s foothold of the retail market, is yielding significant results with savings deposits rising by 20.7percent to N275.2billion making it the 6th consecutive year of double-digit growth. “Savings deposits now accounts for about 22.5percent of total deposits, an attestation of our increasing market share in the retail segment” stated Okonkwo.
Just as was seen with deposit growth, there was also a corresponding increase in the bank’s retail assets. Specifically, Retail loans grew by 42.9percent to N53.8billion driven by the bank’s new digital lending products and partnership with Fintechs. As at December 2019, the bank had disbursed over 70,000 micro-loans on our flagship digital lending product (Fidelity FastLoan) in partnership with Migo.
Conversely there was a remarkable improvement in Non-performing loans (NPLs). The bank’s NPL ratio dropped to 3.3percent from 5.7percent in the 2018FY due primarily to the growth in the loan book and a 25.1percent decline in absolute NPLs resulting from the loan write-offs of over N12billion.