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Access Bank grows profit by 53%, pays 30 kobo final dividend

By The Citizen
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Access Bank Plc on Thursday excited the investing community with an impressive financial performance for the year ended December 31, 2015.

The bank reported growth in all performance indicators despite the economic headwinds. Gross earnings rose by 38 per cent from N337 billion to N245.4 billion in 2014. Interest income and non-interest income contributed 62 per cent and 38 per cent, respectively to the gross earnings.

Non-interest income stood at jumped by 89 per cent to N129.450 billion from N68.429 billion. Profit Before Tax (PBT) grew by 44 per cent from N52 billion in 2014 to N75 in 2015. Profit After Tax (PAT) was up 53 per cent from N43.1 billion to N65.9 billion.

Return On Average Equity (ROAE) improved from 16.5 per cent in 2014 to 20.4 per cent in FY 2015, indicative of the bank's commitment to maximising shareholder returns.

The bank recommended a final dividend of 30 kobo per share to bring the total dividend to 55 kobo, having paid an interim dividend of 25 kobo per share.

Access Bank's customer deposits rose by 16 per cent to N1.68 trillion, from N1.45 trillion in December 2014 driven by enhanced customer engagement and an accelerated deposit mobilisation drive.

Commenting on the results, Group Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe said: 'Guided by a robust risk management framework, our diversified business model yielded positive results as we grew the business cautiously and recorded sound prudential ratios.

During the year, we successfully raised capital by way of Rights Issue which has significantly strengthened our capital base and now provides us with sufficient headroom to harness opportunities in key growth sectors of the economy. In addition, the recent upgrade of our national scale credit rating to 'A' by Fitch Ratings - even in an extremely difficult environment - will enable growth in the market share of our customers' businesses and solidify our position as a top player in the industry.'

According to him, in the coming year, 'we will remain resilient in the execution of our bold strategy for increased growth and profitability.'

MoneyGram Foresees Business Growth in Nigeria
MoneyGram International Incorporated, the world's second-largest money transfer provider, expects faster sales growth in Nigeria even as Africa's biggest economy buckles under lower oil prices and foreign-exchange controls that have created a scarcity of dollars.

If the situation in Nigeria were to deteriorate, people living abroad will send more money home to help support their families, Chief Executive Officer Alex Holmes said in Lagos. Transactions from the continent's most populous nation increased in 2015 compared with the prior year, he said, declining to be more specific.

Africa's largest oil producer is struggling to cope with a plunge in crude, which accounts for about two thirds of government revenue, as prices slumped to a 12-year-low this year. Growth in gross domestic product slowed to 2.8 percent in 2015, the weakest since 1999.

'Nigeria is a very virile receive market,'' Bloomberg quoted Holmes to have said. 'If GDP and the oil price stay low over a prolonged period it could begin to impact our business, but for 2016 we feel very good. As the population grows, so does our business.''

The company is working on ways to ensure that people who receive naira payments get it at a 'fair' exchange rate, he said, without elaborating. 'We focus on putting an improved rate into the market as often as we can, so that we are balancing the difference,'' between the official and black market rate, he said. Thisday