Access Holdings’ net profit for the first half of the year rose by about 52 per cent compared to the corresponding period of last year as its half-year revenue reached N900 billion mark for the first time ever.
Gross earnings for the period climbed by 58.9 per cent to N940 billion, putting the financial services group on track to dwarf the N1.4 trillion reported for full year 2022, when the current year winds down.
Access Bank anchored the growth on fair value and foreign exchange gain, which expanded by approximately 50 per cent to N192 billion.
That followed a major revamp of the Nigerian foreign exchange system towards the end of the second quarter, which triggered a reasonable drop in the value of the naira against the dollar but opened the door for the lender to gain big after converting its financial assets denominated in the foreign currency to the naira.
At 13.5 per cent, improvement in net interest income was paltry as the cash the corporation paid savers as an incentive for holding their deposits ate away at most of the interest it generated during the period, which originally had surged by as much as 63 per cent.
That expense alone consumed N382.6 billion of the entire revenue.
Taxable profit advanced to N167.6 billion from N97.8 billion a year earlier, while profit for the period rose 52.4 per cent to N135.4 billion.
Ironically, Access Holdings’ post-tax profit lagged those of its other peers who come behind it among Nigeria’s five biggest banks, including UBA, Zenith, GTCO and FBN Holdings in indication of the group’s current inability to tap the vast potentiality of its assets to boost earnings.
Its total assets stood at N20.8 trillion in June in a big leap from N15 trillion at the end of last year, following a banking acquisition in Angola and a number of similar deals in the pipeline with Standard Chartered Bank in Cameroon, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and also Angola.
Access Holdings declared an interim dividend of N0.30 per share on Saturday equivalent to a payout of N10.7 billion, compared to the N0.20 per share it announced a year earlier.
The stock has yielded 103 per cent since the beginning of the year.