By NBF News
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ECOBANK Transnational Inc. (ETI) has reported, for the year ended December 31, 2010, net income of $131.8 million, an increase of 104 per cent, from the previous year. The bank also announced an earnings per share of $1.14  per share, an increase of 97 per cent, from the previous year.

Arnold Ekpe, group chief executive officer, commented: 'The performance in 2010 reflected the benefits of our diversification strategy, the re-alignment of our business along customer-centric lines, and the unrelenting efforts of our employees across the Ecobank network. We invested in our businesses for growth and built strong client and customer relationships. The integration and optimization of our unique franchise delivered the desired cost efficiencies and asset quality. As a result, we saw a rebound in profits, which increased by 104 per cent from the prior year, despite revenue headwinds in some of our regions, particularly, Nigeria . Additionally, we achieved significant decline in provision for credit losses as the credit environment improved.'

Ekpe further remarked: 'Our balance sheet, which we have de-risked and de-leveraged, remains strong, ending the year with a Tier 1 capital ratio of 20.2 per cent and healthy levels of liquidity. Also, for the first time, total assets crossed the $10 billion mark to $10.5 billion. We're confident that our balance sheet positions us to generate strong earnings growth once the economic recovery firms up and market confidence improves.'