Shareholders commend 2018 performance
By Elizabeth Adegbesan
FIDELITY Bank Plc’s profit before tax rose 34 percent to N6.7 billion in the first quarter ending March 2019 (Q1’19).
Meanwhile, shareholders who spoke at the bank’s annual general meeting (AGM) held on Friday, commended the bank for its efficient cost management strategy as growth in its total operating expenses remained below the average headline inflation rate in 2018. The shareholders, however, seek for a higher dividend for the next financial year, even as they applauded its Board of Directors for declaring 11kobo dividend per share for the financial year ended December 31, 2018.
In a statement announcing the unaudited financial statement of the bank for Q1’19, the bank said: “Gross earnings rose by 11.8 percent from N43.3 billion in 2018 to N48.4 billion in the period under review, whilst profits surged by 34.0 percent from N5.0 billion in Q1 2018 to N6.7 billion in 2019. Similarly, the bank recorded growth in deposits, loans and other performance indices during the period.”
Speaking on the financial results, the Fidelity Bank CEO, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo said the double digit growth in earnings and profits further demonstrates a positive start for the new financial year. “We remain focused on the execution of our medium-term strategic objectives and targets for the 2019 full year while we look forward to sustaining the momentum and delivering another strong set of audited results for half year 2019 (H1 2019FY)”, Okonkwo stated.
He further revealed that the bank’s earnings grew by 11 percent on the back of growth in fund and fee-based income. “We recorded double digit growth across key income lines: FX income (334.4 percent), digital banking income (34.6 percent), account maintenance charge (25.5 percent) and interest income on liquid assets (10.1 percent)” he disclosed.
According to the Okonkwo, digitalization and the bank’s retail strategy continues to positively impact on its fortunes with “43 percent of customers are now enrolled on the mobile/internet banking products and more than 81 percent of total transactions done on digital platforms, resulting in 25 percent in fee-based income, coming from digital banking.
“Savings deposits which now accounts for 24 percent of total deposits in the period increased by 6.2 percent to N242.1 billion indicating that the bank is on a steady march to achieving the 6th consecutive year of double-digit savings growth.”