Guaranty Trust Bank has released its audited financial results for the year ended December 31, 2017, to the Nigerian and London Stock Exchanges, which shows that Profit Before Tax stood at N200.2 billion, representing a growth of 21.3 per cent over N165.1 billion recorded in the year ended December, 2016.

A review of the results shows gross earnings for the year grew by 1.1 per cent to N419.2 billion from N414.6 billion reported in December, 2016; driven primarily by growth in interest income, as well as e-payment revenues.

The bank is proposing a final dividend of 240 kobo per unit of ordinary share held by shareholders in addition to interim dividend of 30 kobo per unit of ordinary share, bringing the total dividend for 2017 financial year to N2.70 per unit of ordinary share.

The bank’s loan book dipped by 8.9 per cent from N1.590 trillion recorded as at December, 2016, to N1.449 trillion in December, 2017, while customer deposits increased by 3.8 per cent to N2.062 trillion from N1.986 trillion in December, 2016.

The bank’s balance sheet remained strong with a 3.9 per cent growth in Total Assets and Contingents as the bank closed the year ended December, 2017, with Total Assets and Contingents of N3.845 trillion and Shareholders’ Funds of N625.2 billion.

The Non-Performing Loan (NPL) ratio increased to 7.7 per cent in December, 2017, from 3.7 per cent in December, 2016, largely as a result of classification of a single exposure within the Nigerian Telecommunication Industry. However, non-performing loans would moderate to 4.6 per cent, which is below the regulatory threshold, if we exclude this name from NPL ratio computation.

Overall, asset quality remains stable with adequate coverage of 119.6 per cent, while Capital remains strong with a Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of 25.7 per cent.

On the backdrop of this result, Return on Equity (ROAE) and Return on Assets (ROAA) closed at 35.4 per cent and 6.2 per cent respectively.

Commenting on the financial results, the Managing Director/CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Segun Agbaje, said;

“2017 was a pivotal year for the bank. We delivered a strong result in a challenging environment; achieving record growth in earnings, carefully managing cost margins and leveraging our digital-first customer-centric strategy to deliver world-class services that are simple, cheap and easily accessible.”

Agbaje stressed that the result demonstrated the fundamental strength of its franchise, as well as the progress the management was making in transforming the bank into a platform on which its customers could build their businesses, connect with their consumers and access all the resources that they need to make their lives better.