The gross earnings increased by 34.4% year on year to N337.1 billion, driven by a 45.2% increase in interest and similar income to N295.6 billion. The increase in Interest Income was driven by a better yield on earning assets and a 19.1% YoY increase in earnings base to N2.64 trillion. This resulted in a Profit Before Tax of N53.7 billion, reflecting an annual growth rate of 112.9%.
Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, MD/CEO of Fidelity Bank Plc, commented on the bank’s strong performance, saying, “We are pleased to report another year of impressive double-digit growth across key income and balance sheet lines.” This verifies our development plan and ability to provide superior shareholder returns.”
Further examination revealed that Net Interest Income grew by 60.9% year on year to N152.7 billion. The high yield environment boosted Net Interest Margin, which grew to 6.4% in 2021FY from 4.7%, although average funding cost increased marginally to 4.6% from 4.2%. Similarly, Total Deposits grew by 27.4% to N2.58 trillion in 2022FY from N2.02 trillion in 2021FY, in line with the Bank’s 2022FY guidance issued in its investor relations presentation. The rise was driven by a 43.1% increase in low-cost deposits (Demand | Savings | Domiciliary), which increased profitability.
Onyeali-Ikpe said of the contribution of Foreign Currency (FCY) deposits to its financial performance, “FCY deposits increased by $597m (63.4% YoY) to $1.5bn and now account for 27.5% of total deposits, up from 19.7% in 2021FY, as we continue to reap the benefits of our renewed export drive.”
Fidelity Bank has historically maintained good asset quality and a robust balance sheet, with Regulatory Ratios that are far above the minimum regulatory standards. It declared a Liquidity Ratio of 39.6% and a Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of 18.1%, both of which were higher than the statutory minimums of 30.0% and 15.0%, respectively. Its Non-Performing Loans (NPL) ratio remained steady for the year at 2.9%.
“By 2023, we intend to continue with our strategic plan of expanding our service touchpoints beyond the Nigerian market and providing straight-through services that meet and exceed the needs of our growing clientele,” Onyeali-Ikpe said.
As a result of the strong performance, the bank issued a final dividend of 40kobo per share, bringing the total payout for FY 2022 to 50kobo per share.
Fidelity Bank is a full-service commercial bank in Nigeria, serving over 7.5 million customers through its 250 business branches and internet banking channels. The Global Banking and Finance Awards named the bank Best Payment Solution Provider Nigeria 2023 and Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022. The bank also won the “Fastest Growing Bank” and “MSME & Entrepreneurship Financing Bank of the Year” categories at the 2021 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) categories.