Fidelity Bank Plc has recorded a Profit before Tax (PBT) of N10.1 billion in its first quarter (Q1), 2021 operations, against N6.6 billion achieved in the corresponding period in 2020.
The bank’ s unaudited result for the three months ended March 31, 2021 showed 53.9 per cent growth in PBT, from N6.6 billion in 2020 to N10.1 billion in 2021 while net revenue also increased by 13.4 per cent to N34.4 billion from
N30.3 billion recorded in the previous year.
The bank’s gross earnings increased by 7.7 per cent to N55.1 billion on account of 66.7 per cent growth in Non-Interest Revenue (NIR) to N12.1 billion from N7.2 billion in 2020.
According to the bank, the increase in NIR came from FX related income, digital banking income and account maintenance charge among others as total customers’ induced transactions across all service channels increased by 30.4 per cent year on year and 17.1 per cent quarter on quarter.
Its Net Interest Margin (NIM) remained unchanged at 6.3 per cent compared to 2020 full year as the drop in average funding cost offset the decline in average yields on earning assets.
The bank explained that average funding cost dropped to 2.5 per cent from 3.6 per cent in 2020 full year due to a combination of improved deposit mix and a slight moderation in average borrowing cost.
This led to 26.2 per cent decline in total interest expenses, which translated to 17.1 per cent increase in net interest income to N28.8 billion despite a 4.3 per cent increase in interest bearing liabilities.
Operating expenses increased from N1.3 billion to N23.0 billion, largely driven by N4.3 billion growth in regulatory charges (NDIC & AMCON Charges).
Excluding the increase in regulatory charges, total-operating expenses would have dropped by 13.8 per cent (6.1 per cent QoQ) to N18.6 billion from N21.6 billion in Q1 2020 (Q4 2020: N19.8 billion).
Managing Director of the bank, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe said: “We commenced the year showing impressive double-digit growth in profitability and improved performance across key efficiency indices whilst ensuring our business model continued to deliver strong positive results in line with our guidance for the 2021 financial year.
“We refinanced our seven-year N30.0 billion tier II bonds issued in 2015 at 16.48 per cent p.a with cheaper 10-year N41.2 billion tier II bonds priced at 8.5 per cent p.a., which led to a 61bpts drop in average borrowing cost to 4.5 per cent.”