Zenith Bank Plc and 10 others have posted a cumulative net profit of N261.991 billion for the first quarter (Q1) ended March 31, 2022.
The other banks are Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO), Access Holdings, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated Plc (ETI), United Bank for Africa (UBA), Fidelity Bank, Jaiz Bank, Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN), Sterling Bank, Unity Bank, and Wema Bank.
According to the results released on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX), the total net profit released by the financial institutions for the period under review grew by 8.78 per cent from the N240.8 billion posted Q1, 2021 to N261.9 billion in Q1, 2022.
The first quarter’s performance reflects the resilience of banks’ business model. The general turbulence witnessed in the wobbling economy, occasioned by the Russia/Ukraine war, high inflation, heightened insecurity and low investment could not deter the performance.
Capital market analysts said that the banks delivered a strong base for growth in Q1, 2022, through effective funding optimisation and drive for efficiency.
Leading in the profit line for the period was Zenith Bank Plc, which reported N58.1 billion net profit, a growth of 9.67 per cent.
Access Holdings net profit grew by 9.23 per cent to N57.9 billion in Q1, while GTCO declared profit after tax of N43.2 billion, lower than N45.546 billion in Q1, 2021.
GTBCO Bank, Access Bank and ETI followed with N49.3 billion, N41 billion and N30.6 billion respectively. UBA reported N28.665 billion while Stanbic IBTC profit was N19.2 billion.
UBA achieved a net profit of N41.5 billion as against N38.1billion in 2021; ETI reported a total profit of N38.3 billion against N30.5 billion in 2021; while Fidelity Bank net profit stood at N9.515 billion, lower than N9.590 billion recorded in Q1, 2021.
Meanwhile, Union Bank, Sterling Bank, Wema Bank, Jaiz Bank and Unity Bank posted a profit after tax of N5.6 billion, N3.5 billion, N2.9 billion, N1 billion and N869.3 million respectively, as against N6.2 billion, N2.4 billion, N1.3 billion, N832.3 million and N721.5 million, respectively in Q1, 2021.
Speaking on the bank’s performance, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, UBA, Kennedy Uzoka, explained that despite the myriad of economic challenges on the global front which shaped the first three months of the year, the bank’s business model continued to show resilience.
These challenges among others, he noted include the ongoing crisis between Russia and Ukraine that has resulted in a huge supply shock, pushing up commodity prices; and the hike in the interest rates in most advanced countries aimed at tackling spiraling inflation, sparking capital flow reversal from emerging and frontier markets.
Chief Executive Officer of GTCO, Segun Agbaje, said, “Our first-quarter results show a decent improvement across key revenue lines as well as other financial metrics, which demonstrates our ability to effectively navigate the evolving business landscape anchored on our strong business fundamentals.
“With this performance, we are optimistic about the rest of 2022 as we rapidly consolidate the gains of our new holding company structure to deliver superior stakeholder value.”
The Chief Executive Officer, Ecobank Group, Ade Ayeyemi stated that the performance was achieved in a difficult operating environment characterised by the strengthening of the US dollar against local operating currencies, high inflation, high interest rates and tight labour markets across Africa as the Russia-Ukraine conflict continued to take its toll.
“Despite these challenges, we continued to support our customers effectively, which paid off as our businesses grew their revenues and profits. These were driven by trade, cash management, FICC and payments, while we also achieved modest loan growth with support from higher interest rates,” he said.
The Managing director, ARM Securities Limited, Rotimi Olubi said, “Interest income has been a major driver of earnings across all banks. We have seen a significant increase in banks interest income due to rising loans from customers and institutions.”
He noted that there was an increase in banks’ gross earnings across all banks as a result of the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The chief operating officer, InvestData Limited, Ambrose Omordion said Q1 2022 is a reflection of economic recovery in Nigeria post-COVID-19.
Speaking from a shareholder’s perspective, chairman of the Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Boniface Okezie noted that Nigerian banks have proven to be resilient in growing profits and savings from customers despite domestic and global challenges.
He said: “It is a good thing that Nigerian banks are still resilient and are doing very well despite economic challenges. The resilience is what investors are seeing in our banks and are taking a position. The Q1, 2022 performance is encouraging and with the growth, shareholders are expecting higher dividends in 2022 full year.”