Access Bank Plc has said that its 2015 first quarter (Q1) Profit After Tax (PAT) rose 18 per cent to N13.6 billion from N11.6 billion recorded the prior year of 2014.

Similarly, pre-tax profit climbed up 23 per cent to N16.5 billion from N13.4 billion reported the corresponding period of 2014.

According to the result released at the weekend, gross earnings grew to N76.7 billion from N57.3 billion in the corresponding period of 2014, indicating a growth of 34.1 per cent.

More so, interest income and non-interest income comprised 17 per cent and 47 per cent growth respectively.

The result showed that interest income grew by 17 per cent to 46.4 billion in Q1 2015 from 39.6billion in Q1 2014; benefiting from a loan portfolio growth in 2014 and improved yields on fixed income securities.

Also, the lender posted a non-interest income of 30.4billion in Q1 2015 compared with 17.6 billion in Q1 2014; representing 47 per cent increase, supported by growth in net trading income.

Again, Access Bank which posted operating income of 54 billion, grew by 28 per cent in Q1 2015 compared to 42.2 billion in the corresponding period.

Return On Average Equity (ROAE) leaped 19.2 per cent in Q1 2015, improved by 50 basis points (bps) from 19.7 per cent in Q1 2014.

Furthermore, the Bank’s balance sheet also showed that loans and advances recorded a modest growth of 2 per cent to settle at N1.15 trillion in Q1 2015, compared with N1.12 trillion in December 2014.

However, the Bank said: “Customers deposits dipped to N1.39 trillion, down 4 per cent from N1.45 trillion in December 2014, resulting from run-off of expensive funds and replacement with stable and lower cost deposits, as we strive to sustain our margins.”

Total assets climbed 2 per cent year on year to 2.14 trillion in Q1 2015 compared to N2.10 trillion in December 2014.

The lender posted a Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of 19.6 per cent as against December 2014’s 18.4 per cent.

Also, credit quality was sustained in the first quarter as the percentage of Non-Performing Loans (NPL) to total gross loans improved to 2.1 per cent from 2.2 per cent as at December 2014.

Moreover, coverage ratio (with regulatory risk reserve) increased to 165 per cent in Q1 2015 from 154 per cent as at December 2014.

Again, Access Bank’s Net Interest Margin (NIM) increased 5.9 per cent in Q1 2015 from 7.1 per cent in Q1 2014; underlined by increased funding costs.

The company said its Cost to Income Ratio (CIR) improved by 220 basis bps to 62.2  in Q1 2015 from 64.6 per cent in Q1 2014;driven by revenue uplift during the period.

Commenting on the results, Herbert Wigwe, Group Managing Director, noted that the Bank’s financial performance in the first quarter of 2015 marks steady progress towards key strategic objectives: “Our focus remains on the delivery of sustainable value to our shareholders. We continue to deepen and broaden our top-tier corporate relationships whilst optimising and growing our diverse retail customer base to support low-cost liability growth.” 

Source : Tribune