Sterling Bank Plc has reported a profit after tax of N3.1bn and gross earnings of N39.8bn for the first quarter ended March 31, 2018, representing an increase of 39.3 per cent.
The Q1 net income is an improvement on net income of N1.9bn for the corresponding period of 2017, representing an increase of 65.2 per cent.
The lender’s net loans and advances increased by two per cent to N609.8bn, customer deposits rose by 4.9 per cent to N718.5bn, while total assets (excluding contingent liabilities) were relatively flat at N1.05tn.
Speaking on the results, the Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, said, “We are pleased to be starting 2018 on a good note, by sustaining the strong performance delivered in 2017 with growth across key financial indices. This demonstrates strength and is indicative of our outlook for the financial year.”
The bank’s gross earnings grew by 39.3 per cent to N39.8bn from N28.6bn in the first quarter of 2017, with the improvement in earnings directly linked to measured growth in retail lending as well as a 90 per cent increase in transaction banking revenues.
“Our net operating income also grew by 34.2 per cent, aided by a 50 per cent reduction in impairment charges. We continued to experience a significant improvement in asset quality as cost of risk declined by 140 basis points to 0.8 per cent from 2.2 per cent in 2017,” Suleiman added.
He added that Sterling Bank was actively mobilising private sector capital to solve some of the most pressing social and economic needs of Nigerians, adding that, “We have aligned the bank’s business model to offer financial and non-financial solutions to key areas which are at the HEART of Sterling Bank – Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy, and Transportation.”
In the period under review, the bank successfully launched Farepay, a contactless payment system as part of its transport sector intervention in Lagos State.