Sterling Bank Plc has said that its gross earnings rose to N24.6 billion in first quarter of 2014 from the N19.84 billion it recorded in the corresponding period of 2013.
The bank said in a statement in Lagos that the earnings showed a growth of 24.1 per cent, adding that the profit before tax rose to N3.54 billion during the period from N3.02 billion in the same period in the preceding year, representing an increase of 17.2 per cent.
Its profit after tax, according to the statement, also rose from N2.72 billion in the first quarter of 2013 to N3.14 billion in the same period in 2014, showing a 15.4 per cent growth.
The bank said its net interest income rose by 58 per cent during the period, adding that its operating income rose by 35 per cent to N16.2 billion and 20 per cent in return on average equity.
It said the development was in line with its medium term strategic objectives.
The statement quoted the bank’s Managing Director, Yemi Adeola, as saying that the first quarter performance was a positive start for the bank “and a reflection of the bank’s improving efficiency and robust credit risk management”.
Adeola said that in spite of a marginal decline in deposit to N540 billion, the bank recorded a 30-basis points reduction in cost of funds to 5.6 per cent that reflected the management’s focus on balance sheet efficiency.
He said that loans and advances grew to N337 billion while asset quality remained strong with a non-performing loan ratio of 1.8 per cent.
“Over the next few quarters, we will continue the upgrade our physical infrastructure and roll out conventional and alternative channels.
“This is to deepen market penetration of our products and grow retail deposit market share. Loan growth will remain steady and disciplined with the overall target for the year set at 25 per cent,” it quoted Adeola as saying.