Fidelity Bank posts N28.1BN profit in 2020, announces dividend

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Fidelity Bank Plc on Wednesday said it made N28.1billion profit in 2020 in what it described as testimony of its resilience and stability.

In the results announced on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the Nigerian lender reported strong growth in Core Operating Profits, Net Revenue and other key financial indices.

The bank reported a 50.9% growth in Core Operating Profits from N29.8BN in 2019 FY to N44.9BN while Net Revenue increased by 15.0% from N111.8Bn in 2019FY.

Customer Deposit, which it described as a measure of consumer confidence, rose by 38.7% from N1, 225.2BN to N1, 699.0BN just as Total Assets grew by 30.5% from N2, 114.037TRN in 2019FY to N2, 758.148TRN.

However, Profit Before Tax dropped by 7.6% to N28.1BN from N30.4BN in 2019, a situation the bank blamed on an increase in its loan provisions to shield it from any headwinds. It described that arrangement as a positive move for the Bank especially in the current era of Covid-19 and its attendant effect on business risks.

Given that result, the Board of Fidelity Bank is proposing a N6.4BN payout, which translated to 22 kobo dividend per share to its shareholders.

“We are pleased with our financial performance, which clearly showed the resilience of our business model as core operating profit increased by 50.9% to N44.9bn from N29.8bn in 2019FY.

“We also saw a significant improvement in our efficiency indices as cost-to-income ratio moderated downward to 65.1% from 73.4% in 2019FY. However, Profit before Tax (PBT) dropped by 7.6% to N28.1bn as we proactively increased our provisions on risk assets to N16.9bn from a net write-back of N0.6bn in 2019FY, said Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Fidelity Bank CEO, adding that the bank “took a conservative stance in recognition of the impact of the global pandemic, which has redefined business risks and opportunities in the new normal”.

In a statement Wednesday, the bank said its digital retail banking approach has continued to yield positive results. Though Digital Banking income dropped by 18.8% due to the revised banker’s tariff, it increased by 19.6% QoQ on account of increased customer adoption as more services were migrated to the bank’s digital channels.