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Shareholders of Fidelity Bank Plc should expect a bounteous harvest at the end of the current year given its impressive performance for the half year (H1) ended June 30, 2017.

The results released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) wednesday showed that Fidelity Bank Plc posted gross earnings of N85.8 billion in H1 of 2017, up 22 per cent from N70.2 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2016. Interest income grew by 27.8 per cent, while interest expenses grew faster by 48 per cent to hit N38.2 billion compared with 25.7 billion in 2016. As a result, net interest income stood at N34.7 billion in 2017 compared with N31.2 billion, indicating a rise of 11 per cent. Impairment charges remained flat at N4.8 billion in 2017 as against N4.79 billion in 2016.

Despite the high inflationary trend, the bank reduced operating expenses by 1.7 per cent to N30.9 billion, from N31.4 billion in the corresponding period of 2016.
Consequently, profit before tax (PBT) rose by 66.6 per cent to N10.2 billion, from N6.131 billion in 2016, while profit after tax (PAT) improved by 65.6 per cent from N5.457 billion to N9.04 billion in 2017. Earnings per share similarly improved to 31 kobo as against 19 kobo in 2016.

When the Fidelity Bank opened the 2017 with similar double digit growth in the first quarter, its managing director/CEO, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo had attributed the performance to the disciplined execution of its medium-term strategy and a business model that enables the bank to continue to deliver improved performance in line with its 2017 financial year targets.

“Gross earnings growth was driven by a combination of increased yields on earning assets and an absolute growth in the volume of earning assets which led to growth in interest income” he had said.
Speaking on the cost efforts to reduce costs, he said the cost optimisation initiatives continued to deliver cost savings.

“We will continue to optimise our cost profile without impacting service delivery through the disciplined execution of the initiatives from our recently completed business optimisation project,” Okonkwo had assured.
Meanwhile, trading at the stock market closed on bearish note yesterday for the third consecutive day as profit taking activities continued. The Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index (NSE ASI) depreciated by 1.48 per cent to close at 35,629.13 to reduce the year-to-date appreciation to 32.5 per cent.

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