Access Bank Plc announced an impressive run in the first quarter of 2016 as the commercial bank recorded double-digit growths in the top-line and profit.
Key extracts of the first quarter report of Access Bank for the three-month period ended March 31, 2016 released on Monday, April 25, at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed that gross earnings rose by 31.12 per cent while pre and post tax profit grew by 36.68 per cent and 42.1 per cent respectively. All key balance sheet items also firmed up.
Group gross earnings rose to N73.47 billion in March 2016 as against N56.03 billion recorded in the comparable period of 2015. Profit before tax rose from N16.52 billion to N22.58 billion. After taxes, net profit grew from N13.67 billion to N19.42 billion.
The balance sheet expanded during the period. Total assets rose from N2.59 trillion in December 2015 to N2.75 trillion by March 2016. Deposits from customers totaled N1.80 trillion by March 2016 as against N1.68 trillion in December 2015. Total equity improved from N367.80 billion to N382.48 billion.
Exotix Partners, a global investment finance and research firm, said Access Bank’s first quarter performance appeared to have beaten the tough macroeconomic environment in Nigeria.
“As we have written repeatedly, the US dollar scarcity is crippling economic activity and putting significant pressure on banks’ balance sheets. Notably, the parallel rate is now at a 60 per cent premium to the official rate. So, with this backdrop we were expecting first quarter 2016 for Access Bank and its peers to be challenging.”
“However, today Access Bank published first quarter 2016 net attributable profit growth of 43 per cent year-on-year and 8.0 per cent quarter-on-quarter. First quarter 2016 loans and deposits were up 26 per cent year-on-year and 29 per cent year-on-year respectively.”
First quarter 2016 non-performing loans (NPLs) were broadly flat year-on-year, as coverage increased to 123 per cent-from 87 per cent in first quarter 2015, despite the risk charge falling to 73 basis points from 135 basis points in first quarter 2015.