Breaking: Access Bank 2021 Full-Year Profit Up 51%, Offers N0.70 Final Dividend

The board of Access Bank Plc, on Thursday presented its much-awaited audited financials for the full-year ended December 31, 2021, highlights of which included the robust N153.14bn, or 20%, and N54.21bn or 51.13% growth in gross earnings and net profit respectively, following which the directors have recommended a dividend of 70 kobo per share, up from the previous 55 kobo each.

A breakdown of the earnings by operating segments showed that corporate & investment banking contributed the lion’s share of N384.323bn, up from N289.972bn in 2020; followed by commercial banking with N281.313bn, as against N224.367bn; while N250.142bn came from retail banking, up from N191.904bn; and business banking, N56.105bn, compared to N58.473bn.

Details of the result showed that interest income on using effective interest rate rose from N425.666bn to N519.466bn; while interest income on financial assets amounted to N82.234bn, compared to N63.55bn in the corresponding period of 2020. Interest expense jumped to N300.242bn from N226.266bn; leaving a net interest income of N301.458bn, up from N262.95bn; just as net impairment charge on financial assets amounted to N83.212bn from N62.893bn; driven by the N38.93bn from commercial banking, compared to N20.245bn; and N29.589bn from corporate and investment segment, from N15.608bn. This resulted in net interest income after impairment charge of N218.245bn for the period, up from N200.056bn in the prior full-year.

Fee and commission income increased from N116.7bn to N159.184bn, helped by the N66.28bn from channels and other e-business income, up from N56.092bn; and credit related fees and commissions of N43.318bn from N32.535bn; while expense rose to N 40.588bn, as against the previous N23.126bn; as net fee and commission income amounted to N118.596bn, up from N93.573bn.

A further review of the numbers showed that the results could have been far better, but for the significant drop in net gains on financial instruments at fair value from N122.689bn in the 2020 full-year, to N44.8bn; but the effect of the drop was ameliorated by the equally significant growth in net foreign exchange gain of N101.101bn, compared to prior year’s N7.568bn loss. Other operating income increased to N63.412bn from N44.474bn; bargain purchase from acquisition stood at N2.484bn from nil in 2020; personnel expenses stood at N96.707bn from N73.173bn; while depreciation increased to N29.171bn from N27.615bn. Armotisation and impairment rose from N9.913bn to N12.974bn; and other operating expenses from N215.806bn to N232.287bn; resulting in profit before tax of N176.7bn, compared to the previous N125.922bn. With income tax dropping from N19.912bn to N16.484bn, the profit after tax was lifted by corporate and investment banking, which contributed 64.133bn, up from N48.669bn; ahead of the N54.446bn from commercial banking, an increase from N32.865bn; and N31.085bn by retail banking, up from N19.516bn; translating to Earnings Per Share of N4.58, compared to N3.01 in the same period of 2020, out of which total dividend payout for the year amounts to N1.00 each. Recall that the bank paid an interim dividend of 30 kobo at half -year, compared to 80 kobo in the 2020 full-year (including the 25 kobo interim dividend paid).

Herbert Wigwe, GMD, Access Bank

A breakdown of the numbers by geographic regions revealed that Access Bank’s Nigerian operations contributed the bulk across the board, accounting for N714.282bn of total revenue, and N106.483bn of PBT, up from N635.659bn and N90.195bn; followed by the rest of Africa with N182.794bn and N47.591bn, compared to previous year’s N89.016bn; and Europe, N57.174bn and N22.625bn, as against N49.309bn and N7.269bn respectively

On the balance sheet, total assets rose to N11.689tr from N8.651tr, boosted by customer loans and advances of N5.161tr, up from N3.218tr; while total liabilities improved from N7.928tr to N10.681tr, lifted as usual by the N6.954tr in customer deposits, which rose from N6.587tr; resulting in a significant leap in shareholders’ funds from N751.041bn to N1.05tr.