FBN Holdings doubles profit to N166.7 billion

FBN Holdings plc, the holding company for First Bank of Nigeria, has reported a profit before tax of N166.7 billion for the 2021 financial year, up from N83.7 billion in 2020.

It grew its profit after tax by 99.9 percent to N151.1 billion last year from N75.6 billion in 2020 while gross earnings rose by 28.2 percent to N757.3 billion from N590.7 billion.

Nnamdi Okonkwo, group managing director of FBN Holdings, said in a statement: “Our performance over the course of 2021 is reflective of the resilience of the group and underpins our growth strategy to generate sustainable value for all our stakeholders.

“In 2022, our strategic focus is on revenue generation through digital channels and retail product offerings, further driving our synergy potential as well as continuing to improve our operating model to deliver more efficiencies.”

Adesola Adeduntan, chief executive officer of First Bank Group, said: “Following years of strategic restructuring of the bank’s balance sheet and operations, the commercial banking business is beginning to transition into a sustained growth phase delivering performance commensurate to the size of our business and capabilities of our people.”

In 2021, FBNH operated in a challenging operating environment that was pressured by high inflation and currency devaluation, the effect of which increased operating expenses by 14.2 percent to N334.2 billion from N292.5 billion in December 2020, according to FBN Holdings.

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“Despite the inflationary push factors, operating income grew 35.5 percent to N592.8 billion from N437.6 billion, resulting in an improvement in cost to income ratio to 56.4 percent from 66.8 percent,” the statement said.

“This performance was driven by a relentless focus on the needs of customers and improving the competitiveness of our offerings. We have sharpened our ‘Go To Market’ approach to better leverage the opportunities which our large scale provides in addition to becoming more relevant to our clients by improving our value propositions,” Adeduntan added.

FBN Holdings said cash and balances with the central banks, loans to banks and customers, and investment securities constituted 87.2 percent of total assets compared to 83.4 percent in December 2020.

“Total assets grew 16.2 percent year on year to N8.9 trillion from N7.7 trillion, driven by a 30.0 percent year-on-year increase in customer loans and 26.3 percent increase year-on-year in investment securities,” it said.

According to FBN Holdings, deposits from customers increased by 19.5 percent year on year to N5.9 trillion from N4.9 trillion in 2020, reaffirming its strong market access and robust funding base.

It said: “Our investment in agent banking, digitalisation, and deployment of digital platforms which our customers have adopted, improved customer penetration and deepened our solid retail franchise.

“Interest income remained challenged given the moderated interest rate environment negatively impacting yields as a result, interest income declined 4.1 percent to N369.0 billion from N384.8 billion.”

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