Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) recorded a 33.04 per cent rise in its profit before tax for the first half of the year ended June 30, 2021.
In its unaudited financial statement for the first half of the year 2021, Ecobank said its operating income improved by 15.35 per cent year-on-year from June 30, 2020. Its operating profit before impairment charges and taxation also rose by 32.62 per cent to N138.26 billion.
At the end of half year 2021, Ecobank’s total assets increased to N11.02 trillion from N10.38 trillion in December 2020. The loans and advances to its customers fell from N3.70 trillion in 1st half-year 2020 to N3.63 trillion in the first half-year of 2021, while customer deposits in all its operating locations increased by 7.38 per cent from N7.32 trillion to N7.86 trillion. The total equity depreciated by 1.06 per cent as it reduced from N811.75 million to N803.18 billion.
Commenting on the half-year result, Ecobank Group CEO, Ade Ayeyemi said: “We saw continued and sustained resilience in our performance, which is indicative of the success of our ‘execution momentum’ drive. As a result, we generated a return on tangible equity of 16.1% versus 15.2% a year ago and increased diluted EPS and tangible book value per share by 19% and 6%, respectively. In addition, profit before tax increased 23% to $210 million.”
He continued: “Group revenues rose 7% to $825 million, despite the challenging operating environment with the third wave of coronavirus infections threatening economic recovery. Our diversified pan-African business model continued to rise to the challenge. Revenues grew 13% and 6% in our Commercial and Consumer businesses, while our focus on growing the trade business led to increased trade assets. The slowly increasing business and spend activity drove a 20% rise in our Payments business’s revenue to $90 million. Deposits growth was strong, with total deposits now over $19 billion, an increase of $1.0 billion in the second quarter and $2.4 billion in a year, driven by our omnichannel strategy. Though loan growth remained flat, we are focused on providing support to MSMEs for growth”.
Ayeyemi expressed pride in his team’s hard work in driving efficiency, which he said, continues to reflect in the bank’s cost-to-income ratio of 58.7% ahead of guidance and progressing well toward medium-term goal of approximately 55%. In addition, credit quality continued to be exceptionally strong. As a result, Ecobank’s NPL ratio of 7.4% is a substantial improvement from the prior year’s 9.8%, as the bank also builds reserves to insulate the balance sheet with an NPL coverage ratio of 86.7% and pushing towards our near-term target of 90%”.
Mr. Ayeyemi disclosed that the bank successfully raised $350 million Tier 2 Sustainability Notes in June, the first-ever by a financial institution in sub-Saharan Africa and first to have a Basel III-compliant 10-year non-call 5 structure outside South Africa in 144A/RegS format. The Bond was 3.6 times oversubscribed, demonstrating strong confidence in the Ecobank Group and its commitment to the sustainability of its communities and their social needs.
He expressed gratitude to all stakeholders, including the clients, for continuing to put their trust in Ecobank for their diverse banking needs.