Access Bank Plc sustained impressive growths in the top-line and bottom-line in the first quarter as the first-tier commercial banking group grew its pre-tax profit by 66 per cent to N45.1 billion in the first quarter.Key extracts of the interim report and accounts of the bank for the three-month period ended March 31, 2019 released yesterday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed that gross earnings rose by 16.5 per cent to N160.12 billion in first quarter 2019 as against N137.54 billion in first quarter 2018. Profit before tax jumped by 66 per cent from N27.44 billion to N45.10 billion. After taxes, net profit leapt by 86.03 per cent from N22.12 billion in first quarter 2018 to N41.15 billion in first quarter 2019. Earnings per share also rose from 77 kobo to N1.39.The balance sheet also emerged stronger within the period. Total assets rose by 29.9 per cent from N4.95 trillion in December 2018 to N6.43 trillion in March 2019. Customer deposits leapt by 53.1 per cent from N2.56 trillion to N3.92 trillion while shareholders funds increased by 17.8 per cent from N482.64 billion by December 31, 2018 to N568.74 billion by March 31, 2019.Access Bank and Diamond Bank Plc had during the period consummated a merger, which led to enlarged Access Bank.Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Mr Herbert Wigwe, said the increased earnings during the period underscored the value potentials of the newly expanded business model.Following the successful completion of the merger with Diamond Bank in March 2019, we have now fully positioned ourselves in the retail market with a view to bringing the power of banking to the doorsteps of millions. We are providing a broader platform to facilitate payments services in Nigeria and across Africa, by harnessing our significantly enhanced digital technology capabilities, Wigwe said.He noted that the capital and liquidity position of the bank remained above regulatory levels, with capital adequacy ratio (CAR) at 19.5 per cent and liquidity ratio of 47.6 per cent, which further demonstrated the capacity of the enlarged balance sheet to cope with possible negative shocks.He pointed out that the bank has made solid progress throughout the first quarter of 2019 in line with its 2018-2022 five-year strategy, assuring that it remains committed to the achievement of its strategic imperatives going forward as it continues to invest in people, technology and most importantly, product offerings to customers.Our focus is to become the worlds most respected African Bank by leveraging on the strength of our retail and wholesale business to provide unrivalled value to our customers, Wigwe said. Click here to read full news..