FBN Holdings Plc said its profit rose by 22 per cent to N89.7bn as of the end of 2020 financial period.
It disclosed this in a statement on its audited results for the financial year ended December 31, 2020 titled ‘FBN Holdings Plc reports 22 per cent growth in profit for the full year ended 31 December 2020 to N89.7bn’.
It also stated that its total assets rose by 23.9 per cent y-o-y to N7.7tn from N6.2tn in 2019, driven by a 59.1 per cent y-o-y increase in cash and balances with Central Bank, as well as, a 19.7 per cent y-o-y increase in customer loans.
Speaking on the report, the Group Managing Director, UK Eke, said FBNHoldings was pleased to close the year in a healthy financial position despite the difficult operating environment that had been characterised by unprecedented events as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and challenging economic environment.
He said, “During the year 2020, profit before tax grew 11.2 per cent year-on-year to N83.7bn and our non-interest income recorded a growth of 26.7 per cent y-o-y to N174.7bn.
“These results were despite the challenging rate environment evidenced by the decline in fixed income rates and higher cash reserving requirements leading to a 10.9 per cent y-o-y decline in interest income to N384.8bn.
“However, we mitigated the impact on net interest income by containing interest expense through reducing the cost of deposit and driving low-cost deposits.
“We remain focused on driving operating expenses down and improving cost to income ratio. In 2020, operating expense was up marginally by 0.5 per cent y-o-y growing significantly slower than inflation.”
As part of its strategic planning cycle, which was in the second year, he said, it exited the insurance underwriting business through the sale of its interest in FBNInsurance to long-term partner, the Sanlam Group.
He said, “This decision is consistent with our portfolio optimisation strategy, underscored by the renewed focus on deepening our foothold in the banking sector through increased investment in digitalisation, innovation, and expansion in financial services for the benefit of our existing and new customers.”
He added that the proceeds from the sale had been injected into First Bank of Nigeria to strengthen the core business of the group and drive further market growth.