Sterling Bank records 63.4 per cent half-year profit

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Sterling Bank Plc, has reported a 63.4 per cent surge in net profit for the first half (H1) ended June 30, 2018.

The lender reported a Profit After Tax (PAT) of N6.2 billion and gross earnings of N77.6billion against PAT of N3.8billion on gross earnings of N57.1 billion during the corresponding period of 2017.

The Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Abubakar Suleiman, said: “We sustained our momentum in the second quarter, delivering solid growth across key financial indices.

We also achieved a 35.9 per cent growth in gross earnings to N77.6billion from N57.1billion in the second quarter of 2017.

“This was largely driven by a 25.1 per cent growth in interest income and a 56.5 per cent growth in transaction banking revenues, emphasizing our commitment to our retail drive.”

Suleiman disclosed that net operating income was up 29.1 per cent, on the back of a 54.8 percent reduction in impairment charges.

“Sterling Bank experienced significant improvement in asset quality as cost of risk declined further by 86 basis points to 0.8 per cent from 1.6 per cent in June 2017, reflecting the strength of our risk management framework.

Overall, Profit after Tax rose by 64.8 per cent to N6.2billion resulting in a 370-basis point increase in Return on Average Equity to 12.2 per cent.”

During H1 2018, the bank launched disruptive market offerings that included Farepay, Specta, and Sterling One Pay.

The most recent innovation, One Pay, is an upgrade of its mobile and internet banking solution in line with its digitisation drive, and promise to continuously innovate to meet customers’ evolving needs.

One Pay is designed to create an omni-channel experience for users by integrating both web-based Internet and mobile banking solutions.

In addition, the bank’s commitment to partnerships also resulted in the deployment of I-invest, a first-of-its-kind investment app that allows retail customers instant access to treasury bills.

I-invest eliminates entry barriers such as lack of education and information to make smart investment decisions and the ability to get a broker and/or time required to visit banks to fill forms for treasury bills.

On the prospect of the bank for the second half of the year, Suleiman said Sterling Bank would continue to explore and exploit opportunities already identified across the growth sectors of the economy while actively supporting special intervention and social investment programmes.