Fidelity Bank Plc recorded a strong financial performance in the first quarter of 2021, posting appreciable growth in profits for the period ended 31 March 2021.
Details of the unaudited results, released at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) show that profit before tax (PBT) grew by 53.9 per cent from N6.6 billion in 2020 to N10.1 billion for the corresponding period of March 31, 2021.
Similarly, net revenue during the period increased by 13.4 per cent from N30.3 billion in Q1 2020 to N34.4 billion in 2021, just as the bank recorded growth in other performance indices.
Gross Earnings increased by 7.7 per cent year-on-year to N55.1 billion on account of 66.7 per cent growth in non-interest revenue to N12.1 billion from N7.2 billion in Q1 2020.
Net interest margin remained unchanged at 6.3 per cent compared to 2020 financial year 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 per cent in 2020 financial year due to a combination of improved deposit mix and a slight moderation in average borrowing cost.
This led to 26.2 per cent decline in total interest expenses, which translated to 17.1 per cent increase in net interest income to N28.8 billion despite a 4.3 per cent increase in interest bearing liabilities.
Operating expenses increased by N1.3 billion (6.2 percent) to N23.0 billion largely driven by N4.3 billion growth in regulatory charges.
The report also stated that excluding the increase in regulatory charges, total operating expenses would have dropped by 13.8 per cent (6.1 per cent) to N18.6 billion from N21.6 billion in Q1 2020 (Q4 2020: N19.8 billion).
Total Deposits increased by 3.1 per cent year-to-date to N1,751.3 billion from N1,699.0 billion in 2020 financial year, driven by 5.5 per cent increase in low cost deposits.
Retail Banking continued to deliver impressive results as savings deposits increased by 4.1 per cent year-to-date to N441.6 billion.
Savings deposits was responsible for 32.9 per cent of the absolute growth in total deposits and now accounts for 25.2 per cent of total deposits compared to 25.0 per cent in 2020.
Net loans and advances increased by 7.6 per cent year-to-date to N1,426.3 billion from N1,326.1 billion in 2020 financial year. However, the actual growth was 6.8 per cent while the impact of the currency adjustment (2020 financial year: N400.3/$ – Q1 2021: N407.6/$) accounted for a 0.8 per cent year-to-date growth in the loan book.
Other Regulatory Ratios remained above the required thresholds with liquidity ratio at 33.9 per cent and capital adequacy ratio at 18.4 per cent from 18.2 per cent in 2020 financial year.
Commenting on the performance, the managing director and chief executive officer, Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe said: “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.
“We are committed to sustaining our growth trajectory and achieving the long-term strategic aspirations of the Bank as we look forward to delivering another set of good results in the next quarter.”