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Monday, 05 November 2012 00:00
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First Bank posts 48.4% Q3 profit before tax to N75.7b

Foremost banking group, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, has announced  a 48.4 per cent rise in profit before tax in its nine months  September 2012 unaudited IFRS compliant results, which stood at to N75.7 billion.

Key highlights of the results released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), yesterday showed that gross earnings grew by 19 per cent to N267.7 billion N225.0 billion in the same period of 2011, net interest margin rose by  8.1 per cent, from previous 7.3 per cent in the corresponding period in 2011.

The group year-on-year deposit recorded a growth of 14.5 per cent to N2.3 trillion as against N2.0 trillion on the same period of 2011, and year-to-date growth of 18.3 per cent as against N1.9 trillion in December 2011.

The non performing loans portfolio (NPL), stood at 3.4 per cent over 4.8 per cent in the same period of i 2011, while liquidity ratio rose by 59.5 per cent as against  80.0 per cent in the corresponding period of 2011.

Non- interest income rose in the period by 0.6 per cent to N62.2 billion as against N61.8 billion in the same period in 2011, while operating income recorded a 15 per cent growth to N222.7 billion as against N193.5 billion in 2011

Cost to income ratio climbed by of 59.9 per cent in the periods over 55.7 rise recorded in 2011, while impairment charge for credit losses reduced to N12.0 billion in the period as against  N35.5 billion, in 2011.

Speaking on the results, Group Managing Director of the bank Mr. Bisi Onasanya, said: “The Group recorded profit before tax of N75.7 billion (Sep 2011: N51.0 billion), up 48.4 per cent year-on-year, driven by moderate revenue and operating expense growth, as well as lower impairment charges.

According to him, within the context of tighter liquidity, high interest rates and heightened security concerns, the third quarter was a more challenging one for the bank’s customers, and by extension, for its partners stating, however, that in spite of this, the bank is pleased to report that across all major lines of its business, as it maintained the improving trend witnessed in the first half of the year.

He said benefitting from its distribution strategy, innovative product development, market reach and responsiveness to  customers’ needs, the sustained it predominantly low-cost deposit mix, achieving overall deposit growth of 18 per cent year-to-date.

He maintained that despite the continuation of a high interest rate environment, funding costs remained broadly stable quarter-on-quarter.

He said further: ‘’As indicated in earlier periods, we have continued to build on gains in streamlining and increasing the overall efficiency of our business.

Over the nine-month period under review, we have seen further decline in our cost to serve, as volume growth outstripped associated expenses. We are optimistic about the prospects of our business, as we continuously take advantage of growth opportunities.”

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