Access Bank Plc., one of Nigeria’s leading lenders and Africa’s largest bank by asset size (₦7.2trn) and customer base (c.33Mn) grew its Gross Earnings and Profit Before Tax (PBT) by 71.9% and 2.6% respectively when compared to the corresponding period of 2019.
According to its recent Q1’2020 unaudited financial reports published on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) website, the bank’s Gross Earnings soared by 71.9% y/y to ₦264.51bn (from ₦153.91bn) due to the impact of its merger with Diamond bank on April 1, 2019.
Resulting from the above, the firm reported noticeable increases across major earnings and cost items when compared to Q1’2019 position. Specifically, Earnings items such as Interest Income, Fee & Commission Income, Gains on a financial instrument and other income rose by 19%, 78.8%, 319.5%, and 181.4% respectively to ₦131.86bn, ₦27.94bn, ₦82.90bn, and ₦21.79bn driven largely by the impact of the merger exercise.
Likewise, major cost items also rose considerably compared to Q1’2019. Precisely, Interest Expense rose by 10.6% to ₦59.65bn, Loan impairment charges jumped by 154.3% to ₦8.52bn, Fee & Commission expenses rose by 93.2% to ₦4.94bn, while personnel expense increased by 53.5% to ₦19.63bn.
As a result of the near proportionate increases in major Earnings and Cost items, the bank’s PAT for Q1’2020 settled at ₦46.29bn; 2.6% higher than the ₦45.01bn reported in Q1’2019.
However, due to the increase in tax provision to 12% from 9% in the corresponding period of 2019, the bank’s Profit After Tax (PAT) settled at ₦40.93bn; 0.5% lower compared to the ₦41.14bn reported in the corresponding period in 2019.
Resultantly, Q1’2020 EPS printed at 290k as against 331k in Q1’2019.
We expect the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic to negatively impact both Interest and Non-interest income of the bank in Q2’2020 due to the prolonged lockdown in many states across Nigeria and in the diaspora. Nevertheless, we are convinced on the ability of the bank to weather the pressure that may emanate from the Covid-19 pandemic in the remaining quarters of the year.