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Access Bank’s 2021 profit hits seven-year-high on diversified business model

Access Bank’s 2021 profit hits seven-year-high on diversified business model

Nigeria’s biggest lender by asset, Access Bank has recorded a 51 percent growth in profit in 2021 as gross earnings surged.

The tier-one lender saw its profit jump to N160.2 billion in 2021 compared to N106 billion in the previous year. The bank’s shares closed 5.7 percent lower at N9.80, Friday.

Gross earnings surged 27 percent to N971.8 billion last year from N764.7 billion in 2020.

Interest income calculated using effective interest rate jumped 22 percent to N519.4 billion from N425.6 billion in the periods under review.

Interest expense, the cost incurred by an entity for borrowed funds, jumped 32.7 percent to N300.2 billion in 2021 compared to N226 billion in 2020.

Net profit margin grew to 16 percent in 2021 compared to 14 percent in the 2020 full-year period.

Despite the jump in interest expense, net interest income grew 14.6 percent to N301 billion compared to N262.9 billion in the comparable periods.

Net impairment charges grew 32.4 percent to N83.2 billion in 2021 compared to N62.8 billion the previous year.

“Our diversified business model yielded positive sustainable results, guided by a robust risk management framework, as we grew the business cautiously and recorded sound prudential ratios,” Herbert Wigwe, Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc said.

He added, “This year’s results reinforce our resolve to generate sustainable returns despite challenging market conditions.”

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Access bank’s total impaired loans and advances grew 12.7 percent to N181.7 billion in the full year 2021 compared to N161.2 billion recorded in the full-year period of 2020.

The lender’s fees and commission income jumped 36.3 percent to N159 billion while Fees and commission expense also surged 75.3 percent to N40.5 billion.

As a result, net fees and commission income surged 26.7 percent to N118.5 billion in 2021 compared to N93.5 billion in the previous year.

The bank’s income tax plunged 17.5 percent t0 N16.4 billion in 2021 compared to N19.9 billion a year before.

Access bank’s profit before tax rose by 40.3 percent to N176.7 billion up from N125.9 billion in the periods under review.

The bank saw a 63.5 percent decline in its net gain from financial instruments to N44.7 billion compared to N122.6 billion in 2020.

The lender made a profit of N101 billion on net foreign exchange gains compared to a loss of N7.56 billion in 2020.

Personnel expenses surged 31.4 percent to N96.1 billion compared to the N73 billion recorded in the previous year.

Amortisation and impairment grew 30.1 percent to N12.9 billion in 2021 compared to N9.91 billion in 2020.

Other operating income also grew 42.7 percent to N63.4 billion from N44 billion in the reference period.

Dividends paid to owners rose 30.7 percent to N30.2 billion compared to N23.1 billion paid in the periods under review.

Earnings per share rose 50.8 percent to N445 per share in 2021 from N295 per share in 2020.

Total equity attributable to owners of the Bank jumped to N1 trillion in 2021 compared to N743 billion in the full-year period of 2020.

Access Bank is one of the commercial banks that got approval to convert their operations to a holding company. This will allow for diversification into other financial services outside core banking operations.

Having met regulatory requirements and obtained the Court Sanction, the bank expects the HoldCo to become operational in the first half (H1) of 2022.

“This will lead to the delisting of Access Bank Plc’s shares on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) and listing of Access HoldCo shares,” Wigwe added.