Wema Bank Profit Slips 12%, After N2.18bn 2017 Full-Year Provision

Wema Bank Plc, on Wednesday presented its audited financials for the year ended December 31, 2017, indicating that net profit slipped 12% lower, despite a 20% rise in gross earnings, after provisions for non-performing loans jumped 428.56% from N412.4m in 2016 to N2.179bn.
The loan loss provision was swollen by the N1.302bn collective impairment, up from N13.684m. Although the bank did not expressly say it has to do with this particular loan, it noted that “in conjunction with a consortium of lenders participated in a US$403.6 million syndicated facility to finance the development of an OPL (Oil Prospecting Licence) and the construction of a hydrocarbon transportation pipeline.
“Wema Bank’s exposure to the facility is US$20million primarily for the construction of a 70km liquid hydrocarbon transportation pipeline. The completion of the project was delayed due to cost escalations necessitated by the change in technology for the
pipeline project. Sequel to this, the facility was restructured in line with the new project completion timelines.
“The members of the consortium obtained a concession from the regulatory agency to watchlist the account given its significance to the national economy and give the customer enough time to meet the restructured commitments. The facility was therefore declassified and a special 10% provision applied to the outstanding balance,” it noted that given the regulatory concession, it was reflected in its performing loan portfolio.
Also, specific impairment dropped to N639.036m from N1.082bn; just as the bank took a N263.149m impairment loss on bonds.
Gross earnings for the period rose from N54.361bn in 2016 to N63.089bn, a significant N47.316bn of which was derived from customers in Lagos; followed by South West with N10.725bn; while Abuja contributed N3.154bn and South-South, N1.892bn. Interest income increased by 19.1% to N54.073bn, compared to prior year’s N44.56bn; while interest expenses notched 28.54% from N25.91bn to N33.306bn; resulting in net interest income of N19.766bn, which was just 5.95% from N18.65bn recorded in 2016.
Net impairment loss on financial assets at N2.179bn translated to net interest income after impairment charge for credit of N17.587bn, representing a 3.57% drop from N18.237bn.
Net fee and commission income fell by 8.86% to N5.642bn from N6.19bn; just as net trading income increased by 134.76% from N1.486bn in 2016 to N1.569bn. Other incomes rose to N1.569bn, representing 5.54% rise from N1.486bn. Operating income rose by 6.22% to N29.782bn from N28.038bn.
Personnel expenses of Wema Bank dropped to N10.009bn from N10.352bn; depreciation and amortization stood at N2.318bn from N2.308bn; other operating expenses was up 19% from N12.132bn to N14.446bn.
Profit before tax fell to N3.009bn from N3.245bn; while income tax expenses rose by 10% to N753.715m from prior year’s N684.565m; following which profit after tax fell to N2.255bn from N2.56bn, leaving other comprehensive income for the year, net of income tax of N140.051m, as against a loss of N2.406bn; representing earnings per share of N0.058, compared to the previous N0.066.
Meanwhile, on the balance sheet, Wema Bank reported total assets of N424.043bn, down by N35.889bn or 8.46% from N424.043bn in 2016, out of which loans and advances to customers dropped to N215.84bn from N227bn, representing a decline of N11.16bn or 4.91%.
Customer deposits declined also to N254.46bn, down by N28.84bn or 10.18% from N283.302bn in 2016; as shareholders’ funds crawled to N49.615bn from M48.47bn.