By Kayode Tokede
United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) reported an impressive performance to outshine its peers in profitability and dividend payout to shareholders among others.
The pan-African bank half-year (H1) ended June 30, 2021 showed an impressive performance despite severe challenging business and economic environment that emerged from the slow pace of activities following the global lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
UBA for the period grew its top-line and bottom-line performances as the management was prudential in managing cost and growing non-core banking operations.
Also, UBA for the H1 2021 audited result and accounts reported stronger growth in total assets, driven by its resilience business across 20 Africa where to operate.
The Group demonstrated strong balance sheet amid Post-COVID-19 pandemic as reflected in growth in customers deposit and loans & advances to customers.
The balance sheet structure enabled the group to withstand the negative impact of COVID-19 which virtually affected all the sectors of the nation’s economy.
UBA reported N8.32 trillion total assets as at June 30, 2021 from N7.7trillion reported in financial year ended December 31, 2020.
Customer Deposits crossed the N6 trillion mark growing by 7.4 per cent to N6.1trillion in the period under consideration, compared to N5.7 trillion as at 2020 FY.
The group’s shareholders’ funds remained robust at N752.5billion up from N724.1billion in December 2020, reflecting its strong capacity for internal capital generation.
In line with the bank’s culture of paying both interim and final cash dividend, the Board of Directors of UBA has declared an interim dividend of 20kobo per share (+17.6per cent from H1 2021: N0.17/share), for every ordinary share of 50kobo each, held by its shareholders.
UBA recorded strong earnings growth as core income segment supported H1 2021 performance, driven mainly by improvements in funding cost as non-core income declined year-on-year.
The bank recorded an 8.3 per cent growth in interest income to N222.63 billion from N205.69billion recorded in H1 2020 as all major lines recorded gains.
Specifically, interest on loans and advances to banks rose by 378 per cent to N10.38 billion in H1 2021 from N2.17billion in H1 2020), while interest on investment securities added 5.1 per cent to N87.24 billion in H1 2021 from N82.19billion reported in H1 2020.
In addition, loans and advances to customers rose by four per cent to N118.44 billion in H1 2021 from N113billion in H1 2020 and cash and bank balances inched up by 1.4 per cent to N6.57 billion in H1 2021 from N6.48billion reported in H1 2020.
Expectedly, the group’s growth in income from investment securities was strong considering the reinvestments of maturing funds in higher-yielding instruments compared to levels obtainable in the prior quarter.
Likewise, growth in loans to banks and customers (+96.3 per cent and 4.1 per cent, respectively) significantly contributed to the strong performance.
Interest expense declined by 13.6 per cent to N74.56 billion in H1 2021 from N86.26billion reported in H1 2020 as the bank recorded moderations across all contributory lines save for expense on interest-bearing liabilities (26.7 per cent to N25.07 billion).
The largest decline was recorded on interest expense on deposits from customers (-20.5 per cent to N42.43 billion in H1 2021 from N53.18billion in H1 2020) as the bank’s CASA mix improved (H1 2021: 84.3 per cent as against 81.1 per cent recorded in financial year of 2020).
Consequent to the income growth and declining expenses, the bank recorded an expansion in net interest income that rose by 24.1 per cent to N148.1billion in H1 2021 from N119.32bbillin in H1 2020, further supported by the significant decrease in loan loss expenses (-47 per cent to N4.14billion). Eventually, net interest income ex-LLE settled 29.1 per cent higher at N143.93 billion.
Elsewhere, non-interest income declined during the period by 16.8 per cent to N64.38 billion, driven by foreign exchange revaluation (loss of N2.84 billion as against H1 2020: gain of N8billion) and derivatives (loss of N5.27 billion as against H1 2020: gain of N9.43 billion) as well as the decline in gains from investment securities (-55.5 per cent to N1.96 billion).
The aforementioned offset the growth in net fees and commission income (+18.6 per cent to N45.77 billion in H1 2021 from N38.58billion in H1 2020); a consistent trend observed across the industry as electronic banking transaction volumes improve.
UBA’s total operating expenses closed relatively flat, growing moderately by 0.5 per cent to N132.83billion in H1 2021 from N132.13billion in H1 2020, as increasing regulatory cost pressures – Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) premium (+27.3 per cent to N7.11 billion) and Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) levy (+24.1 per cent to N27.82 billion) were offset by moderations in personnel, building maintenance and business travel expenses.
Consequently, the bank’s operating income (+10.3 per cent) advanced faster than opex, leading to an improvement in operational efficiency – cost-to-income ratio (ex-LLE) settled lower at 63.8 per cent relative to 69.9 per cent in the prior year’s corresponding period.
Overall, profitability was more robust, with profit-before tax recording a 34.2 per cent growth to N76.19 billion in H1 2021 from N57.13billion in H1 2020 while profit after tax came in 36.3 per cent higher at N60.58 billion in H1 2021 from N44.43billion in H1 2020, despite the higher income tax expense (+26.4 per cent to N15.61 billion in H1 2021 from N12.7billion reported in H1 2020).
UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, expressed delight over the bank’s performance in the first half of the year, adding, “This has been a strong first half for us, as global economic recovery exceeded expectations, creating a positive rub-off on consumer and corporate confidence, savings and investment activities.
“We saw this positively impact our business, as we continued to leverage our key strategic levers – People, Process and Technology, and our Customer 1st Philosophy, to revolutionise customer experience at UBA.”
He added that the bank’s investment in the Rest of Africa (Excl. Nigeria) continues to yield good results for the group. In his words; “The benefits of pan-African business diversification accruing to the Group is once again evident, with gross earnings and interest income growth of 5.1per cent and 8.2per cent respectively, despite the low yield environment in our largest market, Nigeria.
“We are making remarkable progress on our strategy that is progressively positioning UBA as the bank of choice on the continent, driven by our emphasis on tech-led innovation and best customer experience.”
Continuing, the GMD pointed out that the bank recognises the far-reaching effects of the pandemic on businesses globally, and remains focused on its promise to always provide our customers with the best banking experiences possible.
“Our H12021 performance reflects our progressive efforts in building on the strong momentum that we started the year with.
“As a purpose-driven organisation, we remain resolute in our drive for sustained growth in customer acquisition, transaction volumes and balance sheet, as we consolidate our ‘Africa’s Global Bank’ market position in the years ahead, uplifting livelihoods across the continent,” Uzoka explained.
UBA’s Group Chief Financial Officer (GCFO), Ugo Nwaghodoh, on his part, noted that the bank’s goal is to achieve marked improvement in earnings quality whilst maintaining positive operating leverage as well as top-notch asset quality.
“The Group recorded an RoAE of 17.5per cent (from 15.1per cent in 2020H1) and a NIM of 5.8per cent (from 5.4per cent in H12020) as we played the volatile yield environment diligently for best return on our interest earning assets.
“Capital position remained strong, with the capital adequacy and liquidity ratios of 24.9per cent (22.4per cent in 2020H1) and 58.3per cent (58.2per cent in 2020H1) respectively. This is robust enough to support our growth ambitions,” he said.
The GCFO pointed out that even while the operating environment remains largely uncertain and volatile, despite marked improvement from COVID-19 induced macroeconomic stress, UBA will continue to build resilience through its geographically diversified business model to support headline earnings growth for the Group.
“We remain committed to our 18per cent and 15per cent respective RoAE and deposit growth guidance for FY 2021, as we continue to invest in growth opportunities across our geographies of operation, whilst managing capital and balance sheet prudently,” Nwaghodoh stated.
According to analysts at Cordros Research, “The bank’s performance remains impressive given the challenging core business environment.
“We envisage this strong earnings growth would remain till full-year, given our expectations of sustained momentum in the acceleration of loans and higher yields obtainable to reinvest maturing assets.
“We also expect the bank’s continued improvements in operational efficiency to propel earnings further. Our estimates are under review.”
Guinness Nigeria: Increase in finance cost, cost of sales erode profit
By Philemon Adedeji
Guinness Nigeria Plc, in its third ended March 31, 2023 reported a decline in profit before tax (PBT) and profit after tax (PAT) amid a significant increase in finance cost and cost of sales (CoS).
One of the top brewers in Nigeria and a subsidiary of Diageo Plc reported N9.94 billion profit before tax in Q3 2023, a decline of 55.7 per cent from N22.47 billion reported in Q3 2022, while profit after tax dipped by 61.6 per cent to N5.877 billion in Q3 2023 from N15.28 billion reported in Q3 2022.
Despite the decline in profits, Guinness Nigeria declared N172.48 billion revenue in Q3 2023, an increase of 8.17per cent from N159.44 billion in Q3 2022.
Revenue generated in Nigeria increased to N170.8 billion in Q1 2023 from N157.97 billion in Q 2022, while export closed Q3 2023 at N1.67 billion from N1.48 billion reported in Q1 2022.
The cost of sales reported by Guinness Nigeria, however, grew by 9.61 per cent to N112.1 billion in the period that ended March 2021 from N102.26 billion in the same period of 2022, thereby accounting for 65 per cent of the total revenue reported during the period.
This brings its gross earning to N60.39 billion in Q3 2023, a growth of 5.6 per cent from N57.18 billion in Q3 2022.
The steep contraction in gross profit margin (-759 basis points to 33.5 per cent) in Q3 2023 from 41.1 per cent in Q3 2022, reflecting the faster increase in cost off goods consumed (+21.2per cent) relative to revenue growth (+7.4per cent).
Non-core income increased to N1.48 billion in Q3 2023 from N1.34 billion in Q3 2022, driven by Gain on disposal of property, plant and equipment that closed Q3 2023 at N1.13 billion from N483.45 million in Q3 2022.
Furthermore, the company’s operating expenses increased to N44.4 billion in the period under review from N35.64 billion recorded in the same period of 2022, with marketing expenses accounting for the larger chunk of the amount reported.
The beer maker saw its finance income and finance expenses surge by 67.4 per cent and 523.4 per cent respectively in the month period that ended March 2023 on the back of Interest expense on loans and borrowings and loss on remeasurement of foreign currency balances.
Further down, a net finance cost of N2.17 billion was recorded in Q3 2023 against a net finance income of N202.82 million in Q3 2022, comprising a 984.4 per cent surge in finance costs and a 9.7 per cent decline in finance income.
Analysts at Cordros research indicated that the exchange difference on the letter of credits (+608.8 per cent to N2.12 billion) and a higher loss on remeasurement of foreign currency balances (+716.3 per cent to N3.19 billion) drove the elevated finance costs. Meanwhile, on finance income, there was a 13.4 per cent reduction in short-term deposits in the period.
Guinness’s total assets increased to N217.61 billion in Q3 2023 from N215.7 billion recorded in the same period of 2022.
Cash generated from its core business activities increased by 15 per cent in Q3 2023 to N23.6 billion from N20.53 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2021.
Furthermore, the financial data shows that the beer makers’ net cash used in investing activities for the period was negative, amounting to N3.91 billion in the period under review largely due to the acquisition of property, plant and equipment during the period.
Net cash flow from financing activities was also negative, totaling N11.64 billion during the period due to the payments and finance expenses paid during the period.
Consequently, cash and cash equivalents for the period ended March 2023 amounted to N58.03 billion from N52.68 billion in the same period of 2022.
Analysts at Cordros added that, “Guinness’ Nigeria performance in the quarter was grim in our view, as the brewer continues to ride on a tough terrain characterised by dwindling consumer disposable income and a fragile FX market.
“The major downside risk as seen in the preceding quarters remains elevated cost pressures, particularly pressures from foreign exchange losses, with that moderated, we expect growth in Q4 2023.
“Looking ahead, we expect further price increases to mitigate rising costs and improve margins. Over the medium term, we remain optimistic about the resilience of Guinness’s Total Beverage Alcohol portfolio strategy as a key driver of sustainable growth. Our estimates are under review.”
The Managing Director/CEO, Guinness Nigeria, Mr. John Musunga, said in a statement said, “In the first nine months of fiscal 2023, Guinness Nigeria has delivered growth in the face of the challenging operating environment characterised by rising inflation, deteriorating foreign exchange situation, temporary cash scarcity, and election related anxiety and disruptions.
“Total net revenue grew by eight per cent, driven by category mix optimization, pricing and organic volume growth in mainstream spirits, supported by excellent execution of our route to consumer strategy.”
Musunga added: “Revenue growth was particularly strong for the strategic focus categories: Premium Stout, Ready-to-Serve, and Spirits. We continued to invest behind our strategic growth priorities to remain top of mind and command a premium to consumers who chose our brands for the value they bring to their occasions.”
The released statement stated that the company’s Gross Profit grew six per cent, and its distribution expenses increased by 24 per cent, driven by a nearly three times spike in the price of diesel and other haulage inputs.
“The costs of goods grew faster than net sales revenue due to inflationary pressures and the impact of foreign exchange depreciation; and increased administrative expenses in the period are driven by payroll inflation (mainly performance-related) and one-off tax provisions,” Musunga further explained.
“Coming from an exceptional 2022 performance, operating profit softened by 24 per cent versus same period last fiscal, whilst it remains very strong at N17.4 billion considering the prevailing macroeconomic environment.
“The implicit 18 per cent devaluation of Naira caused the financing costs to spike by 1,696 per cent vs same period last year. We mitigated this, to some extent, by generating 67 per cent interest income growth from our investment of free cash.
“The Management at Guinness Nigeria remains resolute in its business strategy, as well as its engagement of stakeholders across its value chain. As we enter our 73nd year of existence in Nigeria, we remain fiercely committed to Nigeria and to having a positive impact on those around us and our consumers,” Musunga added.
Chair of the Board of Guinness Nigeria Plc, Dr. Omobola Johnson, who also commended the impressive result, said: “The Board remains confident that our strategy is sound and will continue to support the Management to build a business that will consistently deliver sustainable growth for all our stakeholders.”
NGX Group: Weakened revenue, high operating cost downsize profit
By Philemon Adedeji
Nigerian Exchan ge Group Plc (“NGX Group” or “The Group”) in its unaudited results for the half year ended 30th June 2023, delivered weak revenue and high operating cost which downsized the profit.
The decline in revenue was driven by 14.6 per cent decline in treasury investment income (27.1 per cent of revenue) to N869 million in June 2023 relative to N1,017.4 million in the comparative period in 2022 primarily driven by a comparative reduction in our treasury holdings year over year.
However, the breakdown of revenue reveal a 21.2 per cent decline in transaction fees (57.2 per cent of revenue) to N1,830 million in June 2023 from N2,320.7 million recorded in June 2022 due to a drop in trading activities in Nigerian Exchange Limited (“NGX” or “The Exchange”).
The revenue generated from listing fees increased by 6.7 per cent to N388.1 million in June 2023 from N363.8 million in June 2022 buoyed by improved listing on the Exchange in the first half of 2023 relative to the first half of 2022.
Revenue generated from Rental income grew significantly, earned from NGX Real Estate lease of office floor spaces. There was a 38.6 per cent increase from N51.8 million in June 2022 to N71.7 million as of June 2023.
Revenue generated from other fees declined by 39.5 per cent to N42.1 million in June 2023 from N69.7 million in June 2022, which represents rental income from the trading floor, annual charges from brokers, dealing license, and membership fees earned by the Group.
Also, the group revenue generated from other income was driven primarily by 30.3 per cent improvement in market data income (59 per cent of other income) to N287.98 million from N220.94 million reported in June 2022, which is made up of technology income, other sub-lease income, and penalty fees.
The group recorded 22.4 per cent growth in other operating income (31 per cent of other income) from N122.5 million in June 2022 to N149.9 million in June 2023.
Total expenses grew marginally by 0.4 per cent from N2.60 billion in June 2022 to N2.61 billion in June 2023 primarily driven by a 3.7 per cent growth in operating expenses (39.3 per cent of total expenses) to N1.02 billion from N991.2 million in June 2022.
This was moderated because of a decrease in the finance cost (46 per cent of total expenses) of N1.21 billion related to a term loan facility. Personnel Expenses (53.9 per cent of total expenses) also grew by 4.1 per cent from N1.35 billion in June 2022 to N1.41 billion during the period under review.
As regarding Operating profit, the group reported a 33.3 per cent decline in Operating profit to N1,076 million in June 2023 from N1,613.1 million in June 2022, as a result of the 16.3 per cent decline in revenue YoY.
Gross earnings recorded a decrease of 12.5 per cent to N3.70 billion from N4.22 billion as of June 2022, while other income increased by 24.9 per cent to N490 million from N393 million in the same period.
Profit before income tax (PBT) declined by 40.6 per cent to N726 million in June 2023 from N1,223.2 million in the corresponding period in 2022 due to a reduction in the top line YoY.
Profit after income tax (PAT) declined by 45.9 per cent to N444.1 million from N820.2 million. This also resulted in a decline in profit after-tax margin to 12.03 per cent from 19.45 per cent recorded in June 2022.
ANALYSIS ON THE BALANCE SHEET
In the unaudited results ended June 30th, 2023, the group total assets decreased by 3.7 per cent to N54.94 billion from N57.06 billion in December 2022, driven primarily by a 33.1 per cent decline in Trade and other receivables to N712.86 million from N1,065 million in December 2022, and moderated by a 5.31 per cent growth in Cash and Cash equivalent to N5 billion from N4.75 billion in Dec. 2022.
While, Total liabilities saw a 12.3 per cent reduction, falling from N20.3 billion in December 2022 to N17.8 billion. This decrease was primarily due to the repayment of a term loan that was used to finance investments in selected associates.
In addition, the group shareholders fund increased nearly 1.0 per cent to N37.2 billion as of end of June 2023 from N36.8 billion accounted in FY 2022.
The group Return on Average Equity (ROAE) declined to 1.2 per cent in H1 ’23 from 2.2 per cent in FY 2022, reflecting a marginal decrease of 46.1 per cent, as Return on Average Assets (ROAA) declined to 1.9 per cent in H1,23 from 2.8 per cent in FY 2022, indicating a significant declined of 32.0 per cent, while EBITDA margin dipped to 33.9 per cent in H1’23 from 44.4 per cent in FY 2022, showing a loss of 23.5 per cent.
Operating profit margin decreased to 29.2 per cent in H1 ’23 from 38.3 per cent at the end of FY 2022, a decrease of 23.8 per cent, while Profit After Tax Margin decrease to 12.03 per cent in H1’23 from 19.45 per cent in twelve months of 2022, reflecting a marginal loss of 38.1 per cent.
Commenting on the results, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr.Oscar N. Onyema (OON) said, “While our half-year financial results for 2023 may reflect the impact of economic headwinds, NGX Group demonstrated resilience by recording a profit before tax of N0.7 billion.
“We are optimistic that with market friendly pronouncements already made by the new government, trading and listing activities will continue the positive impact experienced in June 2023.
“Consistent with our strategic objective to maximise shareholder value, the Board of Directors has consented to an interim dividend of N0.25 Kobo per ordinary share of 50 Kobo. This translates to a total payout of N495,532,893 (Four Hundred and ninety-five million, five hundred and thirty-two thousand, eight hundred and ninety-three Naira).
“This initiative underscores better flow through of dividend from an associate company and first-time dividend payment from our flagship subsidiary. It also emphasises our continued commitment to working collaboratively with our shareholders and other stakeholders in creating and distributing value, even in challenging market conditions.”
FBN Holdings: Significant growth in gross earnings, others thrust milestone profits
By Philemon Adedeji
FBN Holding plc in its unaudited financial results for half year (H1) ended June 30th 2023, delivered a significant increase in key financial ratios that generated outstanding profits, and positioned the oldest bank among Tier-1 financial institutions in the country
In the unaudited results, the group recorded outstanding growth in gross earnings and other parameters that impacted on profit generation in the period.
The group reported remarkable gross earnings of about 82.8 per cent to N656.6 billion in H1 2023 from N359.2 billion reported in H1 2022.
From the released statement, the group Profit Before Tax ( PBT) showed an impressive increase of 213.8 per cent, amounting to N206.3 billion in H1 2023 from N65.7 billion in H1 2022
FBN Holding ‘s Profit After Tax (PAT) reported a substantial growth of 231 per cent, reaching N187.2 billion in H1 2023 from N56.2 billion in H1 2022.
The significant increase in profit reflects the bank’s ability to generate higher earnings while efficiently managing tax liabilities and assets.
Interest Income (II) for H1 2023 recorded a significant increase of 69.3 per cent over H1 2022, reaching N383.3 billion. Conversely, interest expenses rose by 99 per cent to N145.9 billion. The substantial increase in interest income and expenses can be attributed to changes in the company’s lending and borrowing activities.
Net Interest Income (NII), the difference between interest income and interest expenses, witnessed a healthy growth of 55.2 per cent, amounting to N237.3 billion in H1 2023 from N152.9 billion achieved in the comparable period. This suggests improved efficiency in managing interest-earning assets and interest-bearing liabilities.
The group’s Operating Expenses (OPEX) increase by 24.5 per cent from N186 billion in H1 2022 to N231.6 billion in H1 2023
FBN Holdings reported a 26 per cent increase in net fee and commission income, reaching N73.7 billion. This growth indicates an enhanced performance in the bank’s fee-based businesses and services.
Operating profit for H1 2023 surged remarkably by 213 per cent to N206 billion, demonstrating the bank’s successful cost management strategies and revenue growth.
In addition, Earnings Per Share (EPS) witnessed a remarkable surge of 235 per cent to N5.19 in H1 2023 from N1.55 generated in H1 2022, indicating higher returns for shareholders.
STRONG BALANCE SHEET POSITION
In its unaudited results ended June 30th, 2023, the group balance sheet remain resilient and well structure as total assets increased nearly 34 per cent to N14.177 trillion in H1 2023 from N10.578 trillion achieved at the end of December, 31st 2022.
Total Liabilities rose by 48 per cent to N12.7 trillion as of June 30, 2023.
The growth in both assets and liabilities signifies the bank’s expansion and increased financial activities.
Net Interest Margin declined by 6 per cent to 62 per cent, indicating a decrease in the bank’s profitability from interest-earning assets. Net Interest and Commission Margin decreased by 7.0 per cent to 19 per cent, reflecting a decline in profitability from both interest and non-interest revenue sources.
Operating Profit Margin rose from 25 per cent to 54 per cent, showcasing an improvement in the bank’s operational efficiency and profitability.
Net Profit Margin witnessed a significant increase of 24.0 per cent to 49.0 per cent, indicating higher profitability after all expenses.
Return on Average Assets (ROAA) remained stable at 1.00 per cent, reflecting the bank’s ability to generate earnings from its assets as earnings yield experienced a remarkable growth of 20.0 per cent to 29.0 per cent, signifying increased returns for investors relative to the market price, while Price/Earnings (P/E) Ratio declined by 8.0 per cent to 3.0 per cent indicating a decrease in the stock’s price relative to its earnings.
Return on Equity (ROE) witnessed a growth of 8.0 per cent to 15 per cent, representing the bank’s ability to generate returns on shareholders’ equity.
The group customers loan and advances rose marginally by 38.9 per cent to N5.261 trillion in H1 2023 from N3.789 trillion in FY 2023, while Customers deposit stood at N9.042 trillion as of end of June 30th, 2023 from N7.124 trillion in 2022 financial year, reflecting an increase of 26.9 per cent
In conclusion, the group total equity stood at N1.373 trillion in six months of 2023 from N983.7 billion in twelve months of 2022, indicating a marginal increase of 40.1 per cent
Reactions trail impressive H1 2023 result and accounts
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of First Bank (Commercial Banking Group), Dr. Adesola Adeduntan said: “In the first half of 2023, FirstBank Group delivered the strongest financial performance in the almost 130 years of the Bank’s history; with solid business momentum, increased revenue, and excellent returns. The result reflects the continued positive impact of our strategy and the tremendous progress that we have made in growing and transforming the Group.
“The result also highlights the resilience of our business model, customer relationships and institutional capabilities. While the uncertainties in the macroeconomic and operating environment persist, I am confident that our purpose-driven strategy remains the right one and that our strong financial performance, alongside our business model and resilient portfolios, position the Group well to continue to provide the required support to our customers as well as create robust and sustainable value to our shareholders.
“Given our extensive and diversified customer base of over 42 million customer accounts, our digital technology-enabled processing capabilities that ensure we process over 12 per cent of industry’s payment volume, our future-proof and cutting-edge digital banking platforms with over 22 million users that enable us to process more than 95 per cent customer-induced transactions on digital channels, the robustness of our balance sheet, and our institutionalised risk management culture and capabilities, we see a resilient franchise today and into the future.”
Also, the Group Managing Director, Nnamdi Okonkwo stated that: “FBNHoldings has continued to deliver a strong financial performance despite the complex operating environment, thanks to our reinforced foundations, deep market understanding, strong risk management and execution capabilities.
“On the back of this and in line with our focus of driving further improvement in revenue generation and profitability, the Group delivered strong growth in gross earnings and profit before tax resulting in N656.6 billion and N206.3 billion respectively, for the first half of 2023 financial year.
“Across our businesses, we continue to focus on customer-centric innovations with strong transactional and digital capabilities supported by sound risk management practises to anticipate and creatively deliver products and services that delight the different customer segments that we serve. Furthermore, we are committed to leveraging technology via digital platforms to enhance operational efficiency.
“Although the current operating environment remains challenging, we are confident of successfully navigating the terrain in our transformation journey to deliver sustainable value to our stakeholders.”
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