Estimated reading time: 11 minute(s)
Access Bank Plc recorded impressive growths in incomes and profitability in 2021 with pre-tax profit rising by 40 per cent to N176.7 billion.
With 51 per cent growth in net profit after tax to N160.2 billion, the board of directors of the bank has recommended distribution of N35.6 billion to shareholders as cash dividends for the 2021 business year. Shareholders will receive a final dividend of 70 kobo per share, in addition to interim dividend of 30 kobo per share paid earlier in the year, bringing total dividend per share for 2021 to N1.
Key extracts of the audited report and accounts of Access Bank for the year ended December 31, 2021 showed that gross earnings rose by 27 per cent from N764.7 billion in 2020 to N971.9 billion in 2021. A breakdown indicated that the core business interest incomes accounted for 62 per cent while non-interest income contributed 38 per cent. Profit before tax grew by 40 per cent N176.7 billion in 2021 as against N125.9 billion in 2002. After taxes, net profit leapt by 51 per cent from N106 billion to N160.2 billion.
The balance sheet also improved considerably with total assets rising by 35 per cent from N8.7 trillion in 2020 to N11.7 trillion in 2021. Customer deposits also rose from N5.6 trillion to N7 trillion. Net loans and advances increased from N3.6 trillion to N4.4 trillion. The credit risk management of the bank remained increasingly efficient with the ratio of non-performing loans to gross loans and advances dropping from 4.3 per cent in 2020 to 4.0 per cent in 2021.
Further analysis showed Return on Average Equity (ROAE) of 17.8 per cent. The bank also sustained robust capital and liquidity positions, well above regulatory levels with a Basel II Capital Adequacy Ratio of 24.5 per cent and a Liquidity Ratio of 51.0 per cent.
Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe said the last year’s results underscored the fact that the bank’s diversified business model has continued to yield positive sustainable results.
According to him, guided by a robust risk management framework, the bank continued to grow its business cautiously while recording sound prudential ratios.
“This year’s results reinforce our resolve to generate sustainable returns despite challenging market conditions,” Wigwe said.
He noted that the bank’s strong balance sheet positions it to support customers across various markets and adequately execute its expansion strategy.
He outlined that in order to actualise its vision of becoming the world’s most respected African bank and Africa’s payment gateway, the bank has taken strategic strides to create indelible footprints across the African continent. These footprints include most recent additions in South Africa, Botswana, and Guinea. It also strengthened its business in Mozambique and Zambia, with noticeable improvement in rankings and market share.
He pointed out that in 2021, the bank successfully issued the first Additional Tier 1 (AT1) Eurobond out of Nigeria, a $500 million instrument that enhanced the bank’s capital ratios and provided significant headroom for growth and the execution of its strategic objectives. The bank also issued a $500 million Senior Unsecured Eurobond in 2021, elongating the duration of its foreign exchange balance sheet and strengthening its liquidity.
“2022 is pivotal for our franchise, as we conclude our 2018-2022 corporate strategic plan. In the year, we will focus on a disciplined implementation of our strategy to drive efficiency and operational excellence across all segments, expand revenue and increase profitability, with enhanced focus on risk management practices and a disciplined cost containment structure.
“As we go into our next five-year strategy cycle, we are realigning the franchise for growth, by transitioning into a holding company (HoldCo). This will enable us to unlock and capture available non-banking opportunities in the market, that would lead to the diversification of our earnings, drive efficiency, and grow scale while maintaining our moderate risk management approach.
“Having met regulatory requirements and obtained the court sanction, we expect the HoldCo to become operational is the first half of 2022. This will lead to the delisting of Access Bank Plc’s shares on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) and listing of Access HoldCo shares,” Wigwe said.