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Access Bank grows profit by N52b

Published by The Nation on Mon, 16 Mar 2015

Access Bank Plc sustained double-digit growths across key performance indicators as the top-tier bank at the weekend released its audited report and accounts for the year ended December 31, 2014.Key extracts of the report showed double-digit growths in the top-line, bottom-line, balance sheet size and shareholders funds, implying a considerable resilience for the bank against the industry-wide headwinds occasioned by policy changes and fiscal and monetary challenges.Gross earnings rode on the back of stronger growth in the banks core banking operations and improved cost management to close the year with a total growth of 18.5 per cent. Net interest income had grown by 21 per cent while net interest income closed higher with 29 per cent growth. Net interest margin, which underlines the cost efficiency of the banking operations, had improved from 53.2 per cent in 2013 to 56.5 per cent in 2014.Gross earnings stood at N245.22 billion in 2014 as against N206.89 billion in 2013. Interest income rose from N145.96 billion to N176.92 billion while net interest income closed 2014 at N100.02 billion as against N77.72 billion in previous year.The bottom-line also showed similar resilience with pre-tax profit rising by 20 per cent while profit after tax grew by 18 per cent. Profit before tax rose from N43.53 billion in 2013 to N52.02 billion in 2014. After taxes, net profit for the year stood at N42.98 billion as against N36.30 billion in previous year. Earnings per share thus rose from N1.57 in 2013 to N1.88 in 2014, representing an increase of 20 per cent.The board of the bank has recommended distribution of additional N8.01 billion as cash dividends for the 2014 business year, bringing total dividend for the year to N13.73 billion. Shareholders would receive a final dividend per share of 35 kobo in addition to interim dividend of 25 kobo paid earlier, totaling a dividend per share of 60 kobo. The company had paid the same rate for the 2013 business year.The cash dividend will become payable on May 7, the same day it is expected to be approved by the shareholders at the yearly general meeting. The final dividends will be paid to shareholders in the register of the bank by the close of business on April 24, 2015.The balance sheet of the bank also showed improved performance. Total assets rose by 15 per cent from N1.84 billion in 2013 to N2.10 billion in 2014. Net assets, otherwise known as shareholders funds, also increased by 13 per cent from N244.48 billion to N277.41 billion.Access Bank is currently raising new equity funds from existing shareholders. It is offering 7.63 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each to existing shareholders at N6.90 per share. The rights issue is closing this WednesdayGroup Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, urged shareholders to take advantage of this extension to fully exercise their rights, assuring them of quality return on their investments.We are going to give good returns on investment as our target is to be among top three banks in 2017, Wigwe said.He added that the bank was already talking to institutional investors, high net-worth investors and individuals, particularly investors who understand the value of long term investments.The net proceeds of the N53 billion offer would be used to upgrade the information and communication technology (ICT) systems of the bank to provide better services and build a more robust ICT platform as well as upgrade the branch network and facilities to serve the growing number of clients and further improve the working environment of staff.The bank would also use part of the proceeds to further develop its distribution channel infrastructure to provide better and more efficient services to clients while it would also augment its working capital to expand its loan book in its identified sectors of growth in line with its medium term strategic objectives.Access Bank would also use part of the proceeds to pursue opportunities for international expansion.Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited have said Access Bank has strong potential to generate high capital gains and above-average dividend yields to investors.In a stock recommendation, analysts indicated that the banks share price could rise to N11.80 per share over the next 12 months. The 12-month target price represents a capital gain of 71 per cent on the banks rights issue price of N6.90 per share.According to analysts, Access Bank could also deliver above-average returns to long-term investors with its dividend yield at 9.5 per cent. Analysts then placed the buy ticker on Access Bank, implying that investors are encouraged to take position in the bank as its 12-month return will definitely not be less than 25 per cent.The post Access Bank grows profit by N52b appeared first on The Nation.]]>
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