Ecobank Group’s nine-month profit rises to $352m

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Ecobank Group has reported a profit before tax of $352m for the nine-month period to September 2021, compared to $91m in the same period last year.

The audited financial statements showed that its non-performing loan ratio dropped year-on-year to 6.9 per cent from 9.9 per cent in the corresponding period of 2020.

Its operating income rose by 4.2 per cent to $1.27bn in the nine-month period under review from $1.21bn in the same period of 2020.

In a statement filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited, the Group Chief Executive Officer, Ecobank Group, Ade Ayeyemi, said, “We reported strong results, reflecting the continued diligence of Ecobankers in putting our customers first and ensuring that we meet their respective needs.

“For the nine months period up to September 2021, we earned $352m in pre-tax profit, a 41 per cent increase compared to the prior year and revenues of $1.3bn, a four per cent growth.

“Hence, return on tangible equity increased to 17.9 per cent and we grew the per-share value of our shareholders’ equity by 11 per cent to $0.552.”

Ayeyemi said the firm improved its efficiency to reduce its cost-to-reserve, sustained improvement in the quality of its credit portfolio and strengthened liquidity and capital buffers.

He added, “As a result, our cost-to-income ratio has been declining consistently quarter on quarter, currently 58.3 per cent. In addition, the stock of nonperforming loans as a percentage of loans outstanding is now at 6.9 per cent compared to 9.9 per cent a year ago.

“At the same time, we are proactively building loan reserves, currently at 91.2 per cent of nonperforming loans, close to our near-term target of 100 per cent.”

He said the bank’s liquidity profile had improved due to customer deposits, fuelled by accelerating digital channel adoption, partnerships with fintechs, telcos and businesses in the payments ecosystem.