Skye Bank, 2 others gross over N42bn profit

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By OMODELE ADIGUN

Skye Bank, PZ, and Fidelity Bank recorded a total pre-tax profit of more than N42 billion during their last financial year. In their respective financial reports, made available to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday, Skye Bank recorded a pre-tax profit of N16.51 billion, a huge leap from the N2.84 billion of the previous year. Its gross earnings rose to N127.73 billion from the prior year’s N104.36 billion.

The bank said it would pay out N6.61 billion in dividend to shareholders from the profit, compared with N3.3 billion paid in the previous year. This translates to 50 kobo per one ordinary share. Commenting on the dividend, Olubunmi Asaolu, head of Equity at FBN Capital, said: “The 50kobo dividend is significant because it equates to a very impressive yield of 8.4 per cent, based on a payout ratio of 52 per cent.

This may reassure the market that the underlying business remains strong despite the weak Q4 bottom line.” On the bank’s profits, he stated that “the key driver behind the pretax profit for the fourth quarter of 2012 and profit after tax, loan loss provisions of N10.2billion exceeded the average quarterly provisions run-rate of N967 million for the nine months of 2012 period. “Although the risk of a negative surprise on the provisions line is highest going into the Q4 reporting season, we did not expect the magnitude of the surprise to be this high.

The full year provision figure implies a cost of risk of around 2.6 per cent,” he said. PZ Cussons Nigeria, a unit of the UK-based soap and shampoo maker, on its part, posted an 85.8 per cent rise in its nine month pretax profit which cruised to N3.91 billion, up from the N2.1 billion a year ago.

The company stated in its filing with the NSE that revenue declined marginally to N51.54 billion, compared with N51.85 billion in the same period a year ago, the company said that the report covers the period from June 2012 to February 2013. Nigeria accounts for 30–40 per cent of the company’s global revenue. Its parent company had said last week it continues to face harsh economic conditions in most markets it operates in its interim management statement last week, it stated that while unrest in the northern Nigeria has continued to affect sales, the trading environment in the rest of the country has remained robust with no further fuel duty related impact taking place during the period. Furthermore, the construction of the palm oil refinery with Wilmar is now completed, coming on-stream in good time and to budget, with production having already started.

Accordingly, sales of bulk oil have begun and the company expects the new consumer food ingredients brand to be launched at the start of the next financial year. Looking forward, Asaolu said: “we expect to see the impact of these new businesses on the company’s Profit & Loss, however we remain unsure as to the degree, pending further management comments.”

Fidelity Bank’s full-year pre-tax profit jumped to N21.62 billion from N161 million of the previous year.However, the bank did not give any reason for the increase, but Fidelity is one of several banks that have posted strong results for 2012, after a lacklustre 2011 mostly caused by write offs of bad debts across the sector. Its gross earnings rose to N78.99 billion from 49.53 billion naira in 2011, while it declared a dividend of 0.21 kobo per share, compared with 0.14 naira per share previously.

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