First bank profit took a hit as forex scarcity and global slowdown continue to wipe-off banks’ profits.
The earnings report released on Tuesday showed the bank’s profit after tax stood at N15.1bn for the full year ended December 31, 2015. This represents a decline of 82 percent when compared with N84bn reported in December 2014.
Total profit before tax was N21.5bn, down by 77.1 percent year-on-year. However, gross earnings rose 4.9 percent to N505.2bn from N481.8bn reported a year earlier.
The bank also posted a net interest income of N265bn, up by 8.7 percent from N243.9bn recorded in December 2014, and operating expenses of N223.6bn, down by 5.6 percent year on year.
The bank’s total assets stood at N4.2tn, down by 4.1 per cent year-on-year (December 2014: N4.3tn); its customer deposits was N2.97tn, down by 2.6 per cent year-on-year (December 2014: N3.1tn); while customer loans and advances (net) were N1.8tn, down 16.6 per cent year-on-year (December 2014: N2.2tn).
Commenting on the bank’s financial results, the Group Managing Director, FBN Holdings, Urum Eke, said, “This has been a very difficult time in the history of our institution. Despite the tough macroeconomic and regulatory backdrop during the year, our underlying business remains strong as reflected in the gross earnings growth of 4.9 per cent to N505.2bn.
“Furthermore, the holding company platform has provided support in mitigating the impact of credit losses and the vulnerabilities experienced by our commercial banking business.”
“In coming periods, our primary focus is to drive efficiency and operational excellence across all operating companies. Key initiatives in achieving this, as we eliminate the value eroding factors and seek to reposition the group towards a new growth path, include enhanced focus on moderating risk appetite; risk management practices and culture; disciplined cost containment; asset optimisation; and synergy realization.”
“We will be sustaining the drive to improve cross sell initiatives; improve performance and returns from our subsidiaries to provide diversified and sustainable revenue for the group. While acknowledging the challenges facing the group, we are committed to achieving our set tasks. Among those, one priority stands out above all else – the need to restore shareholder value while building long-term sustainability into our business.”