These are, indeed, the best of times for shareholders of Fidelity Bank Plc, following the proposal by the directors to pay a dividend per share of 35 kobo, amounting to N10.136bn, from the earnings per share of N1.23, up from the previous 92 kobo each, for approval by shareholders at its annual general meeting slated for May 5, 2022 in Lagos. The dividend will however be paid electronically to those whose names appear in the register of members as of close of business April 22.
Highlights of the result presented through the Nigerian Exchange Limited showed that Fidelity Bank grew its profit after tax by 33.51%, faster than the 21.62% growth in gross earnings, after loan loss expense for the period reduced by 58.27%, while other operating income soared by 85.49% among others.
Specifically, gross earnings improved by N44.57bn from N206.204bn, to N250.774bn, with retail banking accounting almost 50% at N112.161bn, compared to the previous N91.113bn; followed by the N80.921bn from corporate banking, increasing from N70.767bn; and N57.691bn from investment banking, from N44.324bn. Interest and similar income grew from N186.783bn, from N168.551bn; and other interest and similar income to N16.781bn from N8.202bn. Interest and similar expense increased by N35.057bn or 48.27% to N108.687bn from N72.63bn; leaving net interest income at N94.877bn, a decline from N104.123bn.
Credit loss expense dropped from N16.858bn in the corresponding period of 2020, to N7.035bn; and net interest income after credit loss expense at N87.842bn, a slight improvement over the previous N87.265bn.
Fee and commission income for the year improved by 48.12% from N19.853bn to N29.406bn; and fee and commission expense rose to N8.624bn from N6.144bn. Other operating income rose from N9.598bn to N17.803bn, of which net foreign exchange gains rose from N8.189bn to N11.562bn; and loan recoveries from 0.495bn to N5.214bn. Net loss from financial assets at fair value through profit and loss stood at N4.904bn, compared to the prior year’s N1.115bn gain; personnel expense was reduced from N25.367bn to N23.47bn; while depreciation and amortization rose from N6.207bn to N7.174bn. Other operating expenses was muted at N52.814bn from N52.059bn; resulting in profit before tax of N38.066bn from N28.054bn. The increase in income tax expense from N1.404bn to N2.814bn left net profit at N35.579bn, 33.51% better than the previous year’s N26.65bn. Net profit was mainly driven by retail banking, which contributed N20.373bn, up from N16.706n; ahead of the N10.391bn from corporate banking, as against previous year’s N6.023bn; and N4.83bn by investment banking from N3.021bn.
Total assets for the period amounted to N3.289tr from N2.758tr, of which customer loans and advances amounted to N1.658tr, from N1.326tr; while total liabilities increased from N2.484tr to N2.991tr, helped by the customer deposits of N2.024tr, up from N1.699tr.