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Diamond Bank Sustains Growth In Balance Sheet And Revenue

By Philip Odiakose

Diamond Bank Plc has reported growth in key financial parameters for the year ended December 31, 2014. The group recorded a growth of 27.3% in total assets from N1.52 trillion recorded in the year ended December 31, 2013 to N1.93 trillion for the year ended December 31, 2014. The growth was driven by a 23.8% growth in deposit liabilities year-on-year, demonstrating the bank's strong ability to generate cheap deposits from the retail and middle market segments. Deposit from customers grew from N1.21 billion in 2013 to N1.49 billion as at December 31, 2014.

Speaking on the results, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Uzoma Dozie stated, “We at Diamond Bank are pleased to announce continued success in implementing our strategy across the group, following another year of strong top line growth and an asset base that grew from N1.5 trillion to N1.9 trillion in 12 months”. Gross earnings increased by 15.0% from N181.2 billion for the year ended December 31, 2013 to N208.4 billion in 2014, driven by efficient growth in the volume of business represented by increase in loan book, and investment securities following the impressive growth in customer deposits. Consequently, the group achieved an improvement of 9.6% in net operating income from N116.3 billion in 2013 to N127.4 billion for the year ended December 31, 2014. Profit before tax, however, recorded a drop of 12.5% from N32.1 billion in 2013 to N28.1 billion during the year under review. Also in the year under review, group loan to customers recorded a growth of 14.8% from N689 billion as at December 31, 2013 to N791 billion at the end of the 2014 financial year.

According to the CEO, “Amidst regulatory headwinds that characterized the industry, and a dynamic macroeconomic environment, growth was recorded in operating income although our profit before tax declined from 2013 levels on the back of higher operating expenses and loan impairment charges. For continued growth and profitability in 2015, we willl continue to vigorously drive the implementation of our alternative banking channels including digital banking; this will help to drive down operating costs as well as capture a significant share of new and existing bank account holders as well as a large portion of the unbanked. We are encouraged by these positive results and sustenance of our business growth, and affirm our commitment to continue delivering healthy shareholder returns in 2015 and beyond.”

The group's capitalization improved significantly by 50.5% during the year due to a combination of the impact of its highly successful rights issue concluded in the last quarter of 2014, as well as the capitalization of profits for the year ended December 31, 2014. In effect, shareholders' funds increased from N138.7 billion as at December 31, 2013 to N208.8 billion as at December 31, 2014. The strong capital base reflects the bank's resilience and its preparedness to grow business in the future despite the implementation of Basel 2 and 3 by the central bank and the related high capitalization requirement.

Consequent on the enhanced capitalization, return on average equity declined from 23.1% in 2013 to 14.7% in 2014. Return on average asset followed the same trend from 2.1% in 2013 to 1.5% achieved in the year ended December 31, 2014. Diamond Bank raised $200 million Eurobonds during the year to finance its long term foreign currency assets.

Diamond Bank is one of the eight banks designated as systemically important banks by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2013. It is one of the leading banks in Nigeria, providing reliable and dependable financial services to corporate and individual customers in Nigeria and West Africa. The bank is a leading retail banking franchise and remains the leader in the MSME space in Nigeria.

The bank achieved yet another successful transition of its management team as its former Group Managing Director - Dr. Alex Otti, voluntarily resigned his appointment effective October 31, 2014 to pursue other interests. Mr. Uzoma Dozie whose appointment as the GMD/CEO has already received the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has since taken over the mantle of leadership of the twenty-five year old financial institution, evidencing the bank's robust succession plan.


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