Sterling Bank gross earnings improve by 12%

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Sterling Bank Plc has reported 12 per cent growth in gross earnings for the first quarter ended on March 31.

The bank’s first quarter unaudited result released by the bank showed that gross earnings rose to N28.55 billion against N25.50 billion posted in the comparative period of 2016.

The bank, in the unaudited result statement issued on Saturday in Lagos, said that the top-line earnings performance was driven by increase in interest income and improved cost management.

It said that the net interest income improved by 18.3 per cent at N13.5 billion in first quarter 2017 as against N11.4 billion in first quarter 2016.



Net interest margin, which measures the underlining profitability of the core banking business, improved marginally from 8.1 per cent in first quarter 2016 to 8.2 per cent in first quarter 2017.

The report stated that the bank was able to reduce operating expenses through strategic cost control measures taken in response to inflationary pressures.

Its operating expenses declined to N12.2 billion during the period under review from N12.6 billion in first quarter of 2016.

Operating income stood at N14.2 billion while pre and post tax profits stood at N2.03 billion and N1.88 billion in first quarter of 2017.



The balance sheet of the bank remained strong as total assets rose by 6.8 per cent to N891.3 billion compared with N834.2 billion recorded at the beginning of this business year.

Mr Yemi Adeola, the bank’s Managing Director, in the statement said that the first quarter of 2017 performance was in line with the expectations.

He said that earnings remained resilient with a double-digit growth despite the macroeconomic headwinds that persisted during the period.

Adeola said that the bank made significant progress in its efficiency drive through the adoption of strategic cost management initiatives.

He said that this resulted in 3.3 per cent reduction in operating expenses and a 190 basis point improvement in cost-to-income ratio.

He added that net interest margin also improved marginally to 8.2 per cent in spite of the crowding out effect of sovereign borrowing which kept interest rates high.

Adeola stated that the bank had retained its cautious stance on lending while continuing to strengthen its risk management framework across people, processes and information technology systems.

“Going into the year, we will continue to explore innovative ways to improve revenue, while simultaneously enhancing the overall efficiency of our business operations,” Adeola said. (NAN)

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