By NBF News

First City Monument Bank, FCMB, Plc has recorded a growth of 73 per cent in its Group's Profit After Tax (PAT) for the un-audited nine months result ended September 30, 2011 released on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) .

According to the result released on the NSE, the Bank's group PAT increased to N7.9billion from N4.6billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2010.

Profit Before Tax (PBT) similarly grew to N9.9billion, representing a Year-on-Year increase of 62 percent.

The Bank said 'Growth in year-on-year profitability was driven by a 41 percent increase in net interest income and a 29 percent growth in non interest income with operating income growth coming in at 36 percent on a year-on-year basis'.

A press statement issued by the bank on Monday also said its operating income benefited largely from balance sheet growth due to increased patronage, the higher interest rate environment and the sustained generation of non-interest income.

Other major areas of growth recorded include its gross revenue which rose by 23 percent from N45billion in the previous year to N55billion in September 2011. Total assets also went up by 13 percent (year-to-date) to N611billion, facilitated by deposit growth of 11 percent to N371billion for same period and quality risk asset opportunities.

In the same vein, net risk asset (quarter-to-quarter) grew by five percent bringing year-to-date figure to N322billion, up from N308billion in the first quarter.

The bank's operating expenses grew marginally (year-on-year) by four percent from N23.5billion in the previous year to N24.5billion in September. However it says efficiency continues to improve with cost-to-income ratio improving to 63.2 percent in quarter three from a high 84 percent same period last year and 64.5 percent in the second quarter 2011.

The Bank recorded a net loan loss expense of N3.4billion compared to a net recovery of N1.8billion in the same period of the preceding year. However, impressively, non Performing Loan ratio dropped below five percent, to 4.3 percent in Sept 2011, compared to 6.5 percent for same period in 2010 and 5.4 percent in the half year period ended July 2011.

The statement continued, by assuring that barring any unforeseen circumstances, it expects all performance indicators to continue to improve during the course of the financial year.