Five Tier-1 banks report 2.2% increase in profit to N406.56bn

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By Kayode Tokede

Five leading banks in Nigeria reported a marginal increase in profit in half-year (H1) ended June 30, 2020 results submitted to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), our correspondent can report.

The five leading banks are Zenith Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank), FBN Holdings Plc, Access Bank Plc and ETI Plc.

These five banks reported N406.56 billion profit in H1 2020, 2.2 per cent increase over N397.4billion reported in H1 2019.

FBN Holdings outperformed other banks in terms of profit growth but failed to declare dividend to shareholders who invested in the Holdings company.

Our correspondent gathered that Access Bank, UBA, GTBank and ETI reported decline in profit while Zenith Bank and FBN Holdings reported double-digit increase in profit in the period under review.

Despite reporting decline in profit, the management of Access Bank, UBA and GTBank proposed dividend expected to be paid to shareholders this month.

However, our correspondent can report that FBN Holdings’s reported 56.3 per cent increase in profit to N49.5 billion in H1 2020 from N31.6 billion reported in H1 2019.

The Group Managing Director of FBN Holdings, UK Eke in a statement said,   “The H1 2020 financial results are impressive and reconfirm our consistent focus on enhanced shareholder value.

“Despite the difficult operating environment, the H1 results demonstrate our resilience and capacity to deliver on long-term ambitions.

“The 56.3per cent y-o-y growth in profit after tax for the period is a testament to the strength of our organisation to continually deliver exceptional services to our customers in these unprecedented times.

“We have been able to achieve this feat by leveraging our agent banking network, innovative e-banking capabilities, and operational efficiency utilizing technology.”

Zenith Bank also reported 22.4 per cent growth in profit to N108.83billion in H1 2020 from N88.88 billion reported in H1 2019.

The management of Zenith bank proposed interim dividend of N0.30 per share, payable to shareholders this month September.

“Going into the second half of the year, we will continue to consolidate our leadership in the industry and deliver value to stakeholders. We expect to see an improvement in economic activities alongside the recovery in the global economy as we search for a cure or vaccine to tackle the coronavirus disease,” Zenith bank in a statement explained to investors.

However, UBA reported about 22 per cent decline in profit to N44.43billion in H1 2020 from N56.74billion reported in H1 2019 while GTBank’s profit closed the period under review at N94.27billion, 4.9 per cent below N99.13billion reported in prior half year results.

The management of UBA and GTBank proposed interim dividend of N0.17 and interim dividend of N0.30kobo per ordinary share of 50 kobo each for period ended June 30, 2020, respectively.

Commenting on the financial results, the Chief Executive Officer of GTBank, Segun Agbaje, said, “These are undoubtedly tough and trying times for people, businesses and economies the world over.

“Our financial performance in the first half of the year reflects the quality of our past decisions which have broadened our earnings and strategically positioned us to thrive, thus far, through the current global health and economic crises.

“Underpinning this financial performance is our commitment to being there for our customers and the communities we serve, and over the past six months we have lent the full weight of our franchise to safeguarding lives and livelihoods of our staff and customers by leading from the front in the fight to curtail the Covid-19 outbreak and offering grace periods on loans to our small business customers.”

He further stated that “Going forward, our focus is not just to survive this pandemic, but to thrive beyond it. That is why we are going ahead with our plans to reimagine how we create value for all our stakeholders. We know that making financial services work for customers goes beyond banking, and in line with our long-term strategy, we will seek to create and drive innovative financial solutions that go beyond banking.”

For Access Bank, its profit was down by 1.4 per cent to N61.03billion in H1 2020 as against N61.87 billion reported in H1 2019. The management of

Access bank also proposed interim dividend of N0.25 kobo per ordinary share of 50 kobo each.

In addition, ETI reported 18.4 per cent decline in profit to N48.5billion in H1 2020 from NN59.49billion in H1 2019.