STERLING Bank Plc has sustained its stellar performance in half year 2015, as top-line and bottom-line earnings showed impressive growth.
Key extracts of the audited report and accounts of the bank for the half year ended June 30, 2015 released yesterday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, showed appreciable growth in key performance indices, validating the resilience of the lender in spite of the harsh operating environment and regulatory headwinds.
Major highlights of the account showed that gross earnings rose by 12 percent to N55 billion. This was driven by a 32.2 percent increase in non-interest income to N15.2 billion from N11.4 billion reported in the corresponding period of 2014. Similarly, profit after tax rose by 6.9 per cent to N5.4 billion during the period under review from N5.1 billion recorded a year earlier.
Operating expenses was relatively flat at N24.2 billion leading to an improvement in cost –to-income ratio. The Bank’s balance sheet also came in stronger with shareholders’ funds increasing by 4.4 percent to N88.4 billion as against N84.7 billion in 2014.Total assets (excluding contingent liabilities) increased by 1.2 per cent to N834.0 billion as against N824.5 billion in 2014.
The Bank continued to strengthen its mid and bottom-line performances, as its increasing focus on cost reduction, credit risk management and operating efficiency cushioned macro headwinds and retained value for shareholders.
Commenting on the results, Managing Director of the Bank, Mr. Yemi Adeola said:
“I am pleased to report on the steady progress made by Sterling Bank in the first six months of the year. Our performance further validates our resilience in the face of regulatory and other macroeconomic headwinds.
“We prioritized performance optimization and operational efficiency leading to a 260-basis points improvement in cost-to-income ratio. We also achieved pre-tax Return on Average Equity of 14 per cent with a double-digit growth in top-line earnings. Our capital position remained strong with capital adequacy ratio at 15 per cent, 50 per cent higher than the regulatory benchmark”.
For the remaining half of the year, the Sterling Bank Chief Executive Officer said the Bank will complete the ongoing implementation of a number of technology-led service improvement initiatives across core and subsidiary systems in order to improve operating efficiency and employee productivity. “Furthermore, we remain confident that we will complete the final tranche of our capital program in order to build additional resilience in view of the prevailing difficult macro-economic conditions while also strengthening earnings capacity”, he added.

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