GTCO, Zenith, Access, Others Report Massive Profit Increase of N1.13tn in Q1 2024

GTCO, Zenith, Access and 5 other banks reported N1.13 trillion profit in Q1 2024, a 267% increase from 2023.

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Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO) Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Access Holdings Plc and five other banks have declared N1.13 trillion profit in the first quarter (Q1), which ended on March 31, 2024, representing an increase of 267 per cent from the N308.7 billion they declared in the first quarter (Q1) of 2023, according to their financial results and accounts for the period under review.

The leading Nigerian Banks commenced the year with an impressive increase in profit amid challenges facing the local and international financial markets.

The eight banks, during the period under review, declared N1.33 trillion profit before tax, representing a growth of 255.6 per cent from the N374.91 billion profit before tax declared in the corresponding period of 2023.

The other banks are United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Wema Bank Plc, FCMB Group Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, and Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc.

The likes of FBN Holdings Plc, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated Plc (ETI), Unity Bank Plc, and Jaiz Bank Plc have not declared Q1 2024 unaudited results and accounts to the investing public.

The breakdown showed that GTCO’s profit closed Q1 2024 at N457.13 billion, a growth of 686 per cent from N58.17 billion reported in Q1 2023.

GTCO in the period emerged as the most profitable bank in Nigeria amid significant increase in its fair value gain on financial instruments that hit N331.55 billion in Q1 2024 from N99 million fair value loss on financial instruments in Q1 2023.

Commenting on the results, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, Mr. Segun Agbaje, in a statement said: “Our first quarter results reflect the unfolding value of what we have created in all our business verticals through the Holding Company Structure – from Banking and Payments to Funds Management and Pension, we are positioned to compete effectively on all fronts and fulfil all our customers’ needs under a unified, thriving financial ecosystem.

“Despite the challenging operating environment, we delivered a solid performance, recording significant growth across all financial and non-financial metrics, and we remain on track to meet our full-year guidance.”

Agbaje added: “Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on strengthening our relationships with our loyal customers, supporting not just individuals and businesses but also our communities through our well-attested free business platforms as well as innovative products and services. We are confident in our credentials to lead the future of financial services in Africa and will not relent in our commitment to excellence whilst delivering long-term value to all stakeholders.”

In its annual reports for 2023, the GTCO reported profit before tax of N609.3 billion, representing an increase of 184.5 per cent over N214.2 billion recorded in the corresponding year that ended in December 2022.

Similarly, Zenith Bank announced N258.34 billion profit in Q1 2024, a growth of 291.4 per cent from N66.01billion reported in Q1 2023; while  Access Holdings announced N159.3 billion profit in Q1 2024, representing an increase of 122 per cent from N71.8 billion declared in Q1 2023.

UBA declared N142.58billion profit in Q1 2024, which is an increase of 166 per cent from N53.6 billion recorded in Q1 2023 while FCMB Group posted N28.77 billion profit in Q1 2024, representing 209 per cent from the N9.29 billion reported in Q1 2023.

Analysts at Cordros Research stated that UBA’s Q1 20244 outturn was impressive given the solid growth print in core banking operations amid the expansion in non-core income as well.

“We anticipate the Holdco will persist in growing interests earned from core income lines and envisage non-income growth will also remain healthy. Also, we envisage the stellar earnings will help offset cost pressures in 2024E,” they added.

Wema Bank reported a N9.67 billion profit in Q1 2024, an increase of nearly 80 per cent from N5.38 billion reported in Q1 2023.

In addition, Fidelity Bank reported N31.44 billion profit in Q1 2024, about 101 per cent increase from the N15.06 billion in Q1 2023 as Stanbic IBTC Holdings announced N45.64 billion profit in Q1 2024, a growth of 58 per cent from N28.86 billion declared in Q1 2023.

Commenting on the results, Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC, Dr Demola Sogunle, in a statement said: “The economy remains quite volatile with a mix of challenges and opportunities. Negative real returns prevailed in the first quarter as headline inflation continued to rise, currently above 31 per cent as of March 2024. Economic activities are expected to improve as the authorities continue to take appropriate actions.

Despite these conditions, the group reported impressive year-on-year improvement in gross earnings, profitability, and core asset metrics in Q1 2024. Profit after tax increased by 58 per cent year-on-year (YoY), driven by growth across the key income lines, including interest income and fees and commission.

However this was slightly muted by an increase in operating expenses and impairment charges, which grew by 65 per per cent and over 100 per cent respectively.

Interest income grew by over 100per cent YoY, driven by a sustained level of yields on risk assets as we continued to extend loans responsibly to support our clients. Fees and commission income on the other hand grew by 71 per cent YoY, supported by increased volume of digital banking transactions and investment banking fees.

The impressive growth in profits led to an improvement in Return-on-Equity to 35 per cent from 27.5 per cent as at Q1 2023. Return on assets also closed at 3.6 cent, supported by improved earnings.

Despite the 65 per cent YoY increase in operating expenses, the Group’s cost-to-income ratio closed at 49.5 per cent  from 51.2 per cent in Q1 2023, as income grew at a faster rate than cost.

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