Fidelity Bank Plc has reported a 72.4 per cent increase in its profit before tax for the half-year ended June 30, 2021.

According to the Bank’s audited H1 results for 2021 released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NGX) and made available to financial correspondents in Lagos, the bank recorded N20.6 billion for its profit before tax as against N12.0 billion reported in H1 2020.

Speaking on the Bank’s performance, Mrs Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, MD/CEO of Fidelity Bank Plc said the bank sustained its impressive financial performance with double-digit growth in profit as increased customer transactions drove non-interest revenue while improved operational efficiency continued to moderate cost-to-serve. This, she said,  resulted in 72.4 per cent increase in profit before tax to N20.6 billion from N12.0 billion in H1 2020.

A review of the financial result for the period indicates that Gross Earnings increased by 6.2 per cent Year-on-Year (YoY) to N112.3 billion on account of 27.8 per cent growth in Non-Interest Revenue (NIR) to N23.8 billion from N18.1 billion in H1 2020.

NIR was driven by strong growth in Commission on Banking Services, Account Maintenance Charges, Digital Banking Income and Trade Income etc. as total customer induced transactions across all distribution channels increased by 58.0 per cent YoY and 21.2 per cent QoQ.

Onyeali-Ikpe noted that digital banking gained further traction as 55.1 per cent of the bank’s customers enrolled on mobile/internet banking products and 89.3 per cent of customer-induced transactions were done on digital platforms.

The bank showed a good appetite in funding the real sector with Net Loans and Advances increasing by 15.8 per cent YTD to N1.535.4 billion from N1.326.1 billion in 2020FY.

Total deposits increased by 16.5 per cent YTD to N1.980.2 billion from N1.699.0 billion in 2020FY, driven by increased deposit mobilization across all deposits types. Foreign currency deposits increased by 23.1 per cent YTD ($149 million) and now accounts for 18.5 per cent of total deposits from 17.5 per cent in 2020FY, as the bank continued to harness the benefits of its renewed drive in the diaspora banking space.

“We look forward to sustaining the current momentum in H2 2021 by optimizing our balance sheet and lowering our cost–to–serve which will translate to improved earnings while we remain committed to our medium to long-term strategic objectives,” concluded Onyeali-Ikpe.

Recall that following her assumption of office as the bank’s MD/CEO in January 2021, Mrs Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe announced a seven-point agenda hinged on innovation, brand refresh, workforce transformation, service excellence, digital transformation, performance discipline and accelerated growth all targeted at propelling the bank to tier one status by 2025.