Directors of Access Bank Plc, on Thursday presented its audited financials for the year ended December 31, 2020, with gross earnings income growing marginally faster than net profit, over the restated numbers for the 2019 full-year.
Other major highlights of the 2020 numbers showed that possibly because of the lockdown occasioned by the novel coronavirus pandemic, there was a N42.703bn or 211.51% spike in net impairment charge from N20.189bn in 2019, to N62.893bn last year. However, the impact of this, thankfully, was more than mitigated by the N76.308bn or 91.52% slump in net foreign exchange (loss) from N83.876bn in the prior year to N7.568bn.
The board is recommending a final dividend of 55 kobo from its Earnings Per Share of N3.01, up from N2.79 each, for approval by shareholders at the next annual general meeting, an improvement on the 40 kobo paid for the 2019 financial year. This brings total dividend for the year to 80 kobo (from 65 kobo in the preceding year), payable to shareholders whose names appear in the register of members at the close of business on April 15, 2021, for which the register of members will be closed on April 16; while electronic payment is scheduled for April 30, the date of the AGM.
According to the audited financials, gross earnings rose by N98.17bn or 14.72% from N666.75bn in 2019, to N764.92bn, the bulk of which was the Interest income of N489.216bn, up from N536.836bn. A further breakdown of the figures was the N290.754bn derived from the corporate & investment banking segment, compared to N254.417bn; followed closely by the N224.04bn from commercial banking, up from N148.861bn; and N191.551bn earned from retail banking, as against the previous N223.13bn; which was trailed from afar by the N58.372bn from business banking, up from N40.344bn. The bulk of interest income was the N309.535bn derived from customer loans and advances, down from N328.635bn.
Interest expense also dropped from N259.617bn to N226.266bn, driven primarily by the N101.605bn, as against N105.512bn from corporate & investment banking; lifted by the N118.437bn paid on customer deposits, down from N168.565bn. This resulted in net interest income of N262.95bn, down from N277.228bn in the 2019 full-year.
The lion’s share of impairment losses was the N20.245bn from commercial banking, up from N9.585bn; followed by N15.608bn recorded by the corporate and investment banking, as against N8.963bn in 2019; N14.249bn from retail banking, compared to N3.681bn; and N12.789bn from business banking, as against the preceding year’s N2.04bn write-back. Interest income after impairment charges fell to N200.056bn, from N257.039bn. This was mostly the N60.338bn allowance for impairment on loans and advance tgo customers, up from N20.032bn.
Fee and commission income increased to N116.7bn from N91.845bn, a breakdown of which showed that N56.092bn was earned from channels and other e-business income, as against N36.04bn; followed by the N32.535bn from credit related fees and commissions, which increased from N26.561bn; while N15.112bn came from account maintenance charge and handling commission, up from N14.006bn; among others.
Fee and commission expense grew to N23.126bn from N17.798bn, buoyed by the N19.475bn e-banking expense, which rose from N15.566bn; following which net fee and commission income grew from N74.047bn to N93.573bn. The net foreign exchange loss was mitigated by the “gain on items not hedged” worth N16.79bn, and the forex realized trading gain of N27.875bn, compared to the prior year’s N64.823bn; which reduced the impact of the N52.234bn unrealized forex loss on revaluation, as against the previous N19.053bn.
Net gains on financial instruments at fair value soared to N122.689bn from N66.102bn; just as other operating income slipped from N55.835bn in 2019 to N44.474bn, boosted by the N34.585bn bad debt recovered, a drop from previous year’s N38.389bn; personnel expenses fell marginally to N73.173bn from N76.964bn; depreciation increased from N21.232bn to N27.615bn; even as other operating expenses jumped to N215.806b n from N151.098bn.
Profit before tax rose to N125.922bn from N111.925bn; income tax expense increased to N19.912bn from N17.868bn; following which after tax profit stood at N106.009bn from N94.056bn, representing an increase of N11.95bn or 12.71%.
Total comprehensive income for the year amounted to N168.726bn, as against the N95.866bn
The group’s balance sheet improved by N1.533tr or 21.46% from N7.143tr to N8.679tr, with customer loans and advances jumping from N2.911tr to N3.218tr; just as total liabilities grew to N7.928tr, up from N6.536tr 2019, representing a growth of N1.592tr or 25.12%. Shareholders’ fund improved from N606.739bn to N751.041bn.