Ecobank Nigeria has released its audited financial results for the year ended December 31, 2018, to the Nigerian.
A review of the results shows positive performance across all financial metrics and improved strategic positioning of the brand.
Ade Ayeyemi, Group CEO said, “Our financial performance in 2018 was remarkable in many ways and reflected the meaningful and significant progress that we have made against the priorities that we set in our ‘Roadmap to Leadership’ strategy. We delivered a 51% growth in profit before tax to $436 million and generated a return on tangible equity of 21%. Our cost-of-risk of 2.4% was an improvement in 2017 and demonstrated the progress that we have made addressing credit quality issues and enhancing internal control processes.
The gross earnings lightly increased by 1% to N773.3 billion from N763.6 billion, while the revenue also rose by the same margin to N567.4 billion from N560.8 billion.
However, the bank recorded a 1.2% decline in interest income to N475.2 billion from N480.9 billion, while net interest income dropped to N289 billion from N299.3 billion.
According to the financial results, there was a 6% rise in the non-interest income, closing at N278.4 billion in FY 2018 against N261.5 billion in FY 2017.
Ecobank’s profit before tax went up by 53% to N135.5 billion from N88.3 billion, while the profit after tax appreciated by 46% to N102.2 billion from N70 billion.
Also, total assets improve significantly by 20% to N8.2 trillion, while the loans and advances to customers rose by 17% to N3.3 trillion, with the deposits from customers increasing by 25% to N5.8 trillion.
“In Francophone and Anglophone West Africa regions we delivered sustainable growth and value for shareholders. While in Nigeria, and the Central, Eastern and Southern Africa, regions we are spurred on by the gradual progress being made. Our businesses continued to serve customers diligently and with purpose and all delivered profit growth in 2018, with Commercial Bank overturning the loss before tax made in 2017.
During the year, the earnings per share improved to N3.30k from N2.22k in the previous year.
In the results, Ecobank said after due consideration of the impending regulatory capital requirements across the group, and the need to build its liquidity buffer, the board did not recommend the payment of dividends for the year ended December 31, 2018.
“We continued to invest in the technology platforms to accelerate our shift from ‘physical’ to ‘digital’ and we are supporting our customers with digitally innovative products to enrich their engagements with Ecobank. To meet a key goal of expanding financial services to the unbanked, we have increased the number of Xpress Points, our agency network, to about 14,000 and we plan to grow this number. Our cash management and trade finance products, such as Omni and e-Trade, are providing our customers with the convenience and efficiency of executing their cross-border transactions across Africa.
The Group CEO and Group CFO who are both signatories to the financial statements of ETI were granted a waiver by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) of Nigeria allowing them to sign the ETI financial statements (without indicating their FRC registration numbers) together with the Chairman on behalf of the board.
The financial statements were approved for issue by the board of directors on 22 February 2019.
“Overall, we are excited about the prospects for the firm and for Africa. Yes, risks remain, and economic cycles come and go, but we will remain steadfast in serving our customers well. I am proud of the work that Ecobankers have done in the last three years to stabilise the firm and position it for long-term success. I am very grateful to them.”