Sterling Bank Plc, has reported a net interest income growth of 19.1 percent to N30.4 billion for the half year ended June 30, 2019 as against N25.5 billion for the corresponding period of 2018.
However, the lender declared a profit before tax of N6 billion in the half year period of 2019, 6 percent lower than the N6.4 billion announced in the same period of last year.
Likewise, the profit after tax reported in the results stood at N5.7 billion in the first six months of 2019 compared with the N6.2 billion made in the first six months of 2018, amounting to a 6 percent loss.
Gross earnings also reflected a drop when compared with the results of the same period of 2018. A total of N74.5 billion was declared as the gross earnings in the first half of 2019, against N77.6 billion for the same period of 2018.
Abubakar Suleiman, chief executive officer of the bank said, “Underlying our half year performance was a concerted effort in improving the quality of our funding base, increasingly through digital products and initiatives.
Though top line earnings were impacted by a selective approach to lending, the Bank remained focused on building a sustainable business model and continued to see considerable improvement across business lines, particularly our retail and consumer and digital and transactional banking businesses.”
Other financial highlights showed that customer deposit grew to N818.6 billion during the period under review compared to N760.6 billion in 2018, indicating a growth of 7.6 percent. Total assets grew by 4.8 percent to N1.156 billion against N1.102 billion in 2018 while net operating income also rose by 4.2 percent to N40.4 billion compared with N38.8 percent in 2018.
Reflecting on the financial performance highlights, Suleiman disclosed that the bank managed to achieve a 14 percent decline in interest expense in line with the Banks strategic objectives, resulting in a 170 basis points drop in cost of funds and, consequently, a 131 basis points increase in net interest margin.
The bank achieved 14.5 percent growth in low cost funds, delivering a 7.6 percent growth in customer deposits while net operating income grew by 4.3 percent.
Personnel costs rose by 14 percent in line with the bank’s commitment to intensify strategy execution, as operating expense grew by 6.1 percent while a continuous growth in retained earnings delivered a 12.7 percent increase in shareholders’ funds to N110.1 billion.
Overall the bank grew its balance sheet by five percent to N1.15 trillion.