Nnamdi Okonkwo, MD/CEO of Fidelity Bank Plc commenting on the results, stated that:
“Our strong performance in H1 2017 is a testament to the disciplined execution of our medium term strategy which focused on deepening our market share in the SME, Retail and Digital Banking space whilst simultaneously implementing various process improvement initiatives to reduce our cost to serve. We are pleased with our audited financial performance which showed solid growth in our revenue lines and a corresponding decline in our cost profile.
Gross earnings increased y-o-y by 22.1% to N85.8 billion primarily driven by a 27.8% increase in interest income and a 0.7% growth in net fee income to N11.2 billion. Our balance sheet optimization initiatives continued to deliver improved results as Net Interest Margin (NIM) increased to 7.4% in H1 2017 from 6.4% (2016FY) as the growth in the yield on our earning assets outpaced the increase in funding costs.
Our process improvement and digital banking initiatives continued to optimize our cost profile as total expenses declined by 1.8% (despite the high inflationary environment) leading to a reduction in our Cost to Income Ratio (CIR) to 67.3%.
Total deposits decreased by 4.0% to N761.1 billion in June 2017 from N793.0 billion in December 2016, however low cost deposits continued to account for over 75% of total deposits. Our retail banking strategy continued to deliver impressive results as savings deposits increased by 3.9% to N161.1 billion in June 2017 on the strength of improved cross selling of our digital banking products with about 30% of our customers now enrolled on our flagship mobile (*770#) and internet banking products.
Net loans increased marginally by 0.3% to N720.2 billion with cost of risk now at 1.3% on the back of increased impairment charges which improved our coverage ratio to 98.6%. Non-performing loans ratio improved to 5.8% from 6.6% in the 2016 FYE due to a 12.2% drop in absolute NPL figures as we focus aggressively on bringing NPLs down below 5.0%.
Other regulatory ratios remained above the required thresholds with Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) improving to 18.4% in H1 2017.
We remain focused on the execution of our medium term strategic objectives and targets for the 2017FY while we look forward to sustaining the momentum and delivering another positive set of results in the next quarter”.
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