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Sterling Bank hits N79.6bn gross earnings

Sterling Bank Plc has posted gross earnings of N79.66bn for the third quarter ended September 30, 2016.

The bank, in a statement Saturday, said the figure was lower than N81.81bn achieved in the corresponding period of 2015.

It stated that the bank’s profit before tax stood at N6.07bn against N8.30bn recorded in the comparative period of 2015.

The bank’s Net Interest Margin, which measures the profitability of the core lending business, improved to 8.5 per cent in third quarter of 2016 as against 7.9 per cent in the preceding period of 2015.

Its non-performing loans improved significantly from 4.8 per cent in December 2015 to 2.5 per cent in third quarter of 2016.

The bank’s cost of funds rose to 5.3 per cent against 6.2 per cent in the corresponding period of 2015.

The bank’s net interest income rose by 37.6 per cent to N41.5bn from N30.2bn recorded in third quarter 2015.

Non-Interest Income, however, reduced by 47.6 per cent to N10.8bn as against N20.5bn, mainly because of 34.2 per cent decline in fees and commission.

Besides, total assets, excluding contingent liabilities increased by 11.4 per cent to N890.3bn as against N799.5bn recorded at the beginning of the year.

Barring his views on the result, the Managing Director of Sterling Bank, Mr. Yemi Adeola, attributed the improvements to the company’s commitment in building a sustainable business anchored on effective risk management and a robust retail business.

He said, “Sterling Bank has grown its active customer base by over 40 per cent year-to-date with improved penetration across all digital channels.”

“The non-interest banking business has also witnessed significant growth in deposits and profitability by 87 per cent and 415 per cent respectively.

“This gives fillip to our resolve to diversify our business significantly over the coming years.”

He said that the bank would continue to prioritise operating efficiency and aggressively drive retail funding.

Adeola said that the tough operating environment characterised by foreign exchange supply shortages, rising inflation, negative economic growth and recessionary environment had sustained downward pressure on core earnings in the industry.