Nigeria’s largest lender, Access Bank Plc has released its financial scorecard for the full year ended December 31, 2021. The Group recorded Gross Earnings increase by 27percent year-on-year (y/y) to N971.9billion in Full Year (FY) 2021, (FY 2020: N764.7billion), with interest and non-interest income contributing 62percent and 38percent respectively.
Profit Before Tax (PBT) for the period rose by 40percent y/y to N176.7billion (FY 2020: N125.9billion). Profit After Tax (PAT) also grew by 51percent y/y to N160.2billion from N106billion in FY 2020
The assets base of the Group remained strong and resilient with Total Assets of N11.7trillion as at December 2021, a growth of 35percent y/y from N8.7trillion as at FY 2020. Customer Deposits totalled N7trillion as at December 2021 (December 2020: N5.6trillion). Net Loans and Advances totalled N4.4trillion as at December 2021 (December 2020: N3.6trillion). Non-Performing loans (NPL) ratio stood at 4percent as at December 2021 (December 2020: 4.3percent).
A final dividend of 70kobo for every share subject to withholding tax will be paid to shareholders of the bank whose names appear in the register of members as at the close of business on April 19, bringing the total dividend for 2021 financial year to N1.
The Board of Directors had paid an interim dividend of 30 kobo per ordinary share of 50 kobo each (Half Year 2020: 25 kobo) each on the 35,545,225,622 issued ordinary shares of 50kobo each. Withholding Tax was also deducted at the time of payment. The Group’s basic earnings per share increased to 458kobo in 2021 from 301kobo in 2020.
The Register of shareholders will be closed on April 20 while on April 28; dividend will be paid electronically to shareholders. At N9.80 the share price closed at the Nigeria Bourse on Friday, investors who held the shares of the bank have recorded positive return of about 5.4percent year-to-date (YtD).
While commenting on the result, Herbert Wigwe, Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc said “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. This year’s results reinforce our resolve to generate sustainable returns despite challenging market conditions.”
He said, “The Group achieved a 27percent year-on-year (y/y) growth in gross earnings to N971.9billion (FY 2020: N764.7billion), leading to an improvement in the Profit After Tax to N160.2billion (FY 2020: N106billion). Consequently, our Return on Average Equity (ROAE) stood at 17.8percent, tracking in line with our commitment to stakeholders”.
Having met regulatory requirements and obtained the Court Sanction, the bank expects the HoldCo to become operational in this 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.
The CEO further said, “We sustained robust capital and liquidity positions, well above regulatory levels with a Basel II Capital Adequacy Ratio of 24.5percent and a Liquidity Ratio of 51percent. This positions the Bank to support our customers across various markets and adequately execute our expansion strategy.”
“To actualize our vision of becoming the world’s most respected African Bank and Africa’s Payment Gateway, we have taken strategic strides to create indelible footprints across the African continent. These include our most recent additions in South Africa, Botswana, and Guinea We also strengthened our business in Mozambique and Zambia, with noticeable improvement in rankings and market share.
“In the year, we successfully issued the first Additional Tier 1 (AT1) Eurobond out of Nigeria. The $500 million instrument enhances our capital ratios and provides significant headroom for growth and the execution of our strategic objectives. We also issued a $500 million Senior Unsecured Eurobond during the period, elongating the duration of our FX balance sheet and strengthening our liquidity,” Wigwe said.
He noted that: “2022 is pivotal for our franchise, as we conclude our 2018-2022 corporate strategic plan. In the year, we will focus on a disciplined implementation of our strategy to drive efficiency and operational excellence across all segments, expand revenue and increase profitability, with enhanced focus on risk management practices and a disciplined cost containment structure.
“As we go into our next 5-year strategy cycle, we are realigning the franchise for growth, by transitioning into a Holding Company (HoldCo). This will enable us to unlock and capture available non-banking opportunities in the market that would lead to the diversification of our earnings, drive efficiency, and grow scale while maintaining our moderate risk management approach”.