Wema Bank Plc has released its audited financial results for the full year ended December 31, 2018 which showed that its Profit After Tax (PAT) rose 36.28% to N3.08 billion in 2018 from N2.26 billion in 2017.
The bank’s Profit Before Tax (PBT) also grew by 59 per cent to N4.8 billion. The PBT figure was an improvement compared with N3.01 billion recorded in 2017 even as the lender has recommended dividend payment to its shareholders.
The bank’s gross earnings grew year-on-year from N65.27 billion in 2017 to N71.53 billion in 2018 representing 9.6% increase.
The bank’s interest expenses dropped by eight per cent, causing Net Interest income to increase by 36.52%, this was majorly driven by a reduction in deposits held for other banks.
According to the bank’s financial results, net loans and advances stood at N252 billion, compared to N216 billion in 2017 representing 16.84% year-on-year growth.
The bank is also pleased to be recommending to its shareholders a dividend payment for the first time in 14 years. The bank recommends a dividend of three kobo per share in line with the board approved dividend policy.
Speaking on the result, the bank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Ademola Adebise said that despite the challenging macro-environment, Wema Bank delivered modest improvement at the end of the 2018 financial year.
“The group recorded a gross earning of N71.53 billion which was a 9.6 per cent increase over the 2017 figure and Profit before tax (PBT) of N4.8 billion which represents a 59% growth over the N3.01 billion reported in 2017 and profit after tax (PAT) of N3.33 billion as against N2.26 billion in 2017. This growth resulted from an 8.59% increase in Interest income and a 13.95% increase in non-interest income,” he said
He said the bank continues to improve on its Deposit mobilization while at the same time working down its cost of funds. ALAT, Nigeria’s first fully digital Bank, launched in May 2017 has improved the banks retail liabilities and customer base. The bank records over 1,000 new customers daily on the digital platform and continues to grow its partnership profiles.
The Digital Bank continued to receive several accolades in 2018, including the World Finance Awards for Most innovative Bank Africa and the Asian Banker Awards for Best Digital Bank Africa. “Our vision is to get ALAT to become the premier digital platform in Nigeria. This will be driven by our expertise in the Digital space and our retail partnerships,” Adebise said.
The bank also recorded other notable achievements during the year as it successfully raised Tier-2 capital of N17 billion and retained its Investment grade ratings from Fitch, GCR and Agusto.