Fidelity Bank has posted robust full year (FY) results for the financial year ended 31 December, 2020, as it looks to recover from Covid-19 disruption.
In the results announced on 31 March on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the Nigerian lender registered strong growth in core operating profits, net revenue and other key financial indices.
The bank posted a 50.9% growth in core operating profits from N29.8bn ($78.2m) in 2019 FY to N44.9bn while net revenue increased by 15% from N111.8bn in 2019 FY.
Customer deposits, a measure of consumer confidence rose by 38.7% from N1,225.2bn to N1,699bn just as total assets grew by 30.5% from N2,114.037 trillion in 2019 FY to N2,758.148 trillion. However, profit before tax dropped by 7.6% to N28.1bn from N30.4bn in 2019 FY, due to an increase in its loan provisions to shield it from any headwinds.
The board is proposing a N6.4bn payout to shareholders, translating to a dividend of 22 kobo per share.
The board stated: “We are pleased with our financial performance, which clearly showed the resilience of our business model as core operating profit increased by 50.9% to N44.9bn from N29.8bn in 2019 FY. We also saw a significant improvement in our efficiency indices as cost-to-income ratio moderated downward to 65.1% from 73.4% in 2019 FY. However, Profit before Tax (PBT) dropped by 7.6% to N28.1bn as we proactively increased our provisions on risk assets to N16.9bn from a net write-back of N0.6bn in 2019 FY.”
Managing director and CEO Nneka-Onyeali Ikpe, who has led the bank since January, said that Fidelity “took a conservative stance in recognition of the impact of the global pandemic, which has redefined business risks and opportunities in the new normal”.
As seen in recent years, the bank’s digital retail banking approach has continued to yield positive results. Though digital banking income dropped by 18.8% due to the revised banker’s tariff, it increased by 19.6% quarter-on-quarter as a result of increased customer adoption as more services were migrated to the bank’s digital channels.
Onyeali-Ikpe is happy with the progress of its digital banking strategy, and said that over 52.8% of customers are now enrolled on the bank’s mobile/internet banking compared to 47.4% in 2019 FY. More than 81% of total transactions were conducted on digital platforms.
Fidelity Bank has around 6m customers and 250 business offices.