Diamond Bank Recorded Strong Growth In Key Financial Parameter
By Gladys Johnson
- Assets surge to N1.93trn
Diamond Bank on Monday released her 2014 Business Year (BY) performance scorecard on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), showcasing strong growth in key financial parameters.
For the year ended December 31, the group recorded a growth of 27.3 per cent in total assets from N1.52 trillion in the previous year to N1.93 trillion. This was driven mainly by growth in deposits, which surged to 23.8 per cent from N1.21 billion in 2013 to N1.49 billion, demonstrating the Bank’s strong ability and network to generate cheap deposits from the retail and middle market segments. Also, the Bank grew its loan portfolio to customers from N689 billion to N791 billion, representing 14.8 per cent increase.
Speaking on the results, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Uzoma Dozie, stated that the performance and steady growth in the BY under review despite the inclement operating environment, was the result of management’s focus on the strategic projections.
“We at Diamond Bank are pleased to announce continued success in implementing our strategy across the group, following another year of strong top line growth and an asset base that grew from N1.5 trillion to N1.9 trillion in 12 months”.
Gross earnings increased by 15.0 per cent from N181.2 billion in 2013 to N208.4 billion, showing an increase of 9.6% in net operating income which stood at N116.3 billion in 2013 to N127.4 billion. However, Profit Before Tax (PBT), declined marginally by 12.5% from N32.1 billion in the previous year to N28.1 billion, reflecting the harsh regulatory headwinds that hallmarked business operations in 2014.
According to the CEO, “Amidst regulatory headwinds that characterized the industry, and a dynamic macroeconomic environment, growth was recorded in operating income although our profit before tax dropped from 2013 levels on the back of higher operating expenses and loan impairment charges. For further growth and profitability in 2015, we shall implement our digital banking strategy rigorously, and this will go a long way to reduce operating costs and drive customer acquisition as we seek to increase market share by converting existing bank account holders and attracting those that are opening formal bank accounts for the first time.”
The Bank maintained very strong showing in its capital structure, as the group’s capitalization improved significantly by 50.5 per cent due to a combination of the impact of its highly successful rights issue in the last quarter of 2014, as well as the capitalization of profits for the BY. Shareholders’ funds increased from N138.7 billion as at December 31, 2013 to N208.8 billion as at December 31, 2014, making Diamond Bank one of the most capitalized banks in Nigeria.
The strong capital base reflects the Bank’s resilience and its preparedness to grow business in the future despite the implementation of Basel 2 and 3 by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the related high capitalization requirement. On the enhanced capitalization, the Bank recorded enviable performance, as the return on average equity moved from 23.1 per cent in 2013 to 14.7 per cent while return on average asset decreased from 2.1 per cent to 1.5 per cent. These were driven purely by efficient growth in the volume of business represented by increase in loan book, and investment securities.
Speaking further on the sterling performance of the Bank, the CEO stated, “We are encouraged by these positive results and sustenance of our business growth, and affirm our commitment to continue delivering healthy shareholder returns in 2015 and beyond.”
Diamond Bank is one of the eight banks designated as systemically important banks by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2013 and raised $200 million Eurobonds during the BY to finance its long term foreign currency assets.
Diamond Bank is one of the leading Banks in Nigeria, providing reliable and dependable financial services to corporate and individual customers in Nigeria and West Africa. The Bank is a leading retail banking franchise and has remained the leader in the MSME segment.
The Bank achieved yet another successful transition of its management team as its former Group Managing Director – Dr. Alex Otti, voluntarily resigned his appointment effective October 31, 2014 to pursue other interests. Mr. Uzoma Dozie whose appointment as the GMD/CEO has already received the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has since taken over the mantle of leadership of the twenty-five year old financial institution, evidencing the bank’s robust succession plan.