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Sterling Bank Boosts Earnings By 58 Per Cent

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SAN FRANCISCO, July 29, (THEWILL) - Barely months after it consummated an inorganic expansion, Sterling Bank Plc has announced impressive leap in earnings capacity.

The bank's gross earnings rose by over a half at 59 per cent to N32.7bn for the six months through June 2012, relative to the comparative period of the previous year, while profit jumped by 38 per cent.

The performance, which is testimony to the efficacy measures built into its core banking operations and the aggressive business development along various needs of the customer, witnessed improvements in interest income that grew by 81 per cent and in other headline figures. Net interest income rose by whopping 70 per cent and operating income by 49 per cent.

“These results have been achieved against the backdrop of difficult global and domestic economic conditions, which continue to impact real sector investment, foreign investor participation, consumer confidence, and market risk appetite,” said managing director and chief executive of the bank, Yemi Adeola.

Sterling Bank last year acquired Equitorial Trust Bank Plc, one of the banks bailed out by the central bank in 2009, a move market watchers observed would witness significant synergy and raise the performance of the successor entity tremendously.

According to Adeola, “The results also come in the wake of Sterling Bank’s recent integration with the former ETB, and the associated costs arising from technology upgrade and brand standardization, the benefits of which are expected to kick in from the last quarter of the year.

Analysts are optimistic that the bank will sustain current performance tempo to year- end by way of delivering broader figures in both the bottom line and the topline.

“With the second quarter performance, the stock holds great value over the medium to long term for income seeking investors or those eyeing capital appreciation,'” Tunde Ladipo, a Lagos-based stockbroker and investment analyst told reporters.