Shareholders laud Sterling Bank’s performance
The shareholders of Sterling Bank Plc have commended its Board and management for raising the profit of the bank in 2016 despite harsh operating environment.
According to a cross-section of the shareholders, who stated this Thursday in Lagos at the 55th Annual General Meeting of the bank, its finance has been well managed in such a way to make the bank achieve stellar performance.
To Dr Faruk Umar, the president of the Association for the Advancement of the Rights of Shareholders (AARNS) and Mr Sunny Nwosu, the National Coordinator emeritus of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria(ISAN),the bank has been prudent and responsible to record outstanding results in 2016 and projected stronger performance in 2017.
Earlier, the Chairman of the bank, Asue Ighodalo, in his address to the shareholders, said the bank recorded a profit after tax of N5.2 billion on gross earnings of N111.4billion for the 2016 financial year. He adde that the bank’s net interest income increased by 41.6 per cent to N56 billion as against N39.5 billion in 2015, due to a 22.5 per cent increase in interest income, while operating income was N68.3 billion despite inflationary pressures. This showed the effectiveness of the bank’s strategic cost control measures.
In his remarks, Mr. Yemi Adeola, its Managing Director, stated that “2016, was a difficult year for the Nigerian economy as it was characterized by high inflation, weak oil prices, lower crude oil output and foreign exchange supply shortages.
“These multiple challenges and the various regulatory responses put significant downward pressure on the earnings of banks. In the face of these difficulties, we maintained our commitment to operating efficiency as highlighted by an improvement in net interest margin to 9.3 per cent and a 22.5 per cent growth in interest income.”
On the outlook of the bank under its 2017-2021 Strategic Plan, Adeola said:
“We expect that the Federal Government’s fiscal intervention schemes alongside supportive economic policies will create pathways for economic recovery. Over the next five years, we will be steering our ship differently and aggressively growing the retail business through electronic channels.”
He also pledged that the bank would continue to boost innovative banking driven by market insights that would enable it serve its customers satisfactorily, implement significant investment in technology-led growth initiatives and accelerate the growth of its non-interest banking segment.