Wema Bank Plc has released its audited financial results for the year ended December 31, 2019, which showed that its profit after tax (PAT) grew by 56.16 per cent to N5.2 billion in 2019, compared with the N3.33 billion recorded the previous year.
Also, the bank's profit before tax (PBT) increased by 40.83 per cent year-on-year to N6.76 billion in 2019, up from N4.8 billion in 2018.
According to the results released wednesday, Wema Bank's non-interest income grew by 74.24 per cent in the year under review, from N13.89 billion in 2018, to N24.21 billion in 2019. The drivers to the non-interest income were a 22.93 per cent year-on-year growth in net fees and commission and 167.32 per cent year-on-year growth in trading income.
The bank's customer deposit was also up by 56.35 per cent in the year under review, to N577.28 billion, a against the N369.20 billion recorded in 2018, just as net loans and advances closed at N289.24 billion, an increase of 14.69 per cent when compared to the N252.19 billion in 2018.
Wema Bank's non-performing loans (NPL) also climbed to 7.38 per cent in the full year 2019, from 4.98 per cent in 2018; and its total asset was up by 56.35 per cent.
Commenting on the results, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Wema Bank, Ademola Adebise said: "We are pleased to announce our 2019 financial year results. The results show that year on year, Wema Bank has continued its steady growth trajectory. The bank recorded gross earnings of N94.89 billion which was a 32.65 per cent increase over the 2018 performance of N71.53 billion.
"The bank has continued to grow its deposit base, while also reducing its cost of funds. Deposits are up by 56.35 per cent in the period. Loans and advances grew from N252.19 billion in 2018 to N289.24 billion in full year 2019, a year-on-year increase of 14.69 per cent.
"The bank has also increased its dividend payment from three kobo per share to four kobo per share translating to dividend yield of eight per cent."
Ademola cautioned that, "while the results for 2019 showed very strong growth, the economic headwinds of the last few weeks has moderated our growth expectations for the next few months. It is expected that the economic and social impact of the Covid-19 virus will be far reaching.
"As a bank we have also tried to play a role in supporting local and federal efforts in providing relief to those impacted directly and indirectly.
According to the Wema Bank boss, this "new normal" has necessitated massive adoption of technology across the economy and we are glad that we have stayed ahead of the curve and our previous technology investments have continued to yield results. ALAT, Nigeria'sFirst Fully Digital Bank, continues to record strong performance as adoption rates have grown and customer base is almost at the half a million mark. We plan to continue our growth in customer acquisition and retention despite the headwinds."
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