Story by Olabode Jegede
Sterling Bank Plc has reported 15 per cent increase in Profit After Tax (PAT) to N9.2 billion in audited financial year ended December 31, 2018 as against N8.02 billion reported in audited financial year ended December 31, 2017.
Also, the lender reported 16 per cent increase in Profit Before Tax (PBT) to N9.5 billion in 2018 from N8.1 billion reported in 2017.
Sterling Bank in its result and accounts to The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday reported 14 per cent increase in gross earnings to N152.2 billion from N133.5 billion reported in 2017.
The Chief Executive Officer, Sterling bank Plc, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman in a statement said, “Our 2018 performance demonstrated our commitment to the race we set out on at the beginning of the year.
“We continued to identify more with our strategic pillars – agility, digitization and specialization – enabling us set the stage for positive and sustainable growth across the business.
“Our investments in people and technology platforms drove significant traction in the retail and consumer segment, in line with our medium to long term goals. Overall, the Bank delivered a 14.9per cent growth in profit after tax to N9.2 billion.”
Sterling Bank’s balance sheet position recorded improved performance as loan & advances to customers and customers deposit reported increase in 2018.
Loans & advances to customers grew by 3.8 per cent to N621 billion in 2018 from N598 billion reported in 2017 while customers deposit gained 11 per cent from N685 billion in 2017 to N760.6 billion in 2018.
The bank said consumer loans were up 108.3 per cent driven by SPECTA – Nigeria’s leading lending digital platform.
“Mobile channel usage grew c. 80per cent as we launched Sterling OnePay – Sterling’s omni-channel mobile banking platform. Transaction volumes doubled on the instant payment platform Achieved four per cent industry market share in collections – 2.9per cent in 2017 eading financing efforts in the agriculture sector making up 10per cent of our loan book,” the lender explained in its report to investors.
Sterling bank was able to grow its Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) by 140 basis points to 13.3 per cent in 2018 from 12 per cent in 2017 on account of additional tier-2 capital injection.
Looking Ahead, the bank said, “In 2019, we would maintain a more customer-centric approach to achieving growth and thrive to scale our digital products. Specifically we will, further diversify our loan book by targeting 20% share to the HEART sectors; Increase access to loans for a wider customer base through other exciting variants of SPECTA; further decentralize the investment market through digital platforms and refocus our Corporate and Investment Banking segment with emphasis on providing innovative solutions to key corporates and banking the value chain.”