Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, a member of the Standard Bank Group, has announced gross earnings of N117. 4 billion for the six months ended June 30, 2019.

The company, in a statement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), said that the gross earnings represented an increase of three per cent compared with N114.21 billion posted in the comparative period of 2018.

Its profit before tax stood at N44.7 billion in contrast with N50.73 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2018.

Profit after tax dropped to N36.25 billion against N40.18 billion achieved in the preceding period of 2018.

The company during the review period announced an interim dividend of one naira which amounted to N10.24 billion.

Other results reflect an increase in non-interest revenue which stood at N54.9 billion, while net-interest income was N39.3 billion.

Commenting on the result, Mr Yinka Sanni, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC, stated that the group’s business segments were profitable, despite the challenging business and regulatory environment.

“Our financial results in the first half of 2019 reflected similar trends encountered in the first quarter.

“The operating environment remained muted, regulatory changes coupled with the highly competitive landscape continued to impact overall returns.

“Still, our diversified business model continues to set us apart. Our business segments remained profitable and resilient, although at a slower pace when compared to prior year,” Sanni said.

He said that there had been a return to growth in the second quarter, mainly from the communication and oil and gas sectors.

Sanni noted that the gross non-performing loan to total loan ratio, which was 3.91 per cent, was within acceptable regulatory limits.

Speaking on other areas of the mid-year results in which the group experienced growth, he said that assets under custody rose to N7 trillion (representing a 42 per cent growth), while assets under management grew by eight per cent to N3.5 trillion.

“To further drive credit growth, in the retail space, we launched an instant credit solution named EZ cash loan/advance, which gives access to loans in less than a minute to pre-approved customers.

“This, among other initiatives, will enable us achieve the targeted loan growth for the year.

“The disciplined execution of our digital strategy has seen customers increasingly adopting and transacting on our digital platforms.

“The number of transactions performed by customers on our digital channels was up 26 per cent between H1 2019 and H1 2018.

“This translated into a year-on-year growth of 71per cent in electronic banking fees.

“Moreover, we instituted a digital academy targeted at equipping staff with digital skills at various levels, while also driving collaboration with Fintech players to position us for early adoption of innovative solutions.

“Following the launch of the micro pension initiative by the government earlier in the year, we deployed the RetireWell Individual Retirement Savings Account.

“We have put in place strong agency network in key locations to drive growth in this area and we have made good progress in this regard,” Sanni said.