Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) Plc third quarter net income surged 916 percent, driven by gains in fees generated on digital transactions, including mobile money payment and current account servicing fees, all supported by uptick in consumer and business activity following the easing of coronavirus restrictions.
A reduction in operating expenses also added impetus to earnings amid inflationary pressures, higher energy costs, and foreign currency crisis that elicit incessant currency devaluation.
Net income moved to N104.50 billion in September 2021 from N10.28 billion as at September 2020, which places the Pan Africa lender in an advantageous position to pay dividend jerk up dividend payment to shareholders.
The strong growth in the bottom line (profit) was largely driven by a 21.50 percent increase in net fees and commission income to N129.10 billion as at September 2021; noninterest revenue that moved by 12 percent to N231.76 billion got a boost from an uptick in other income.
Interest income was up 12 percent to N445.11 billion in September 2021, thanks to moderate economic growth across key markets despite the low yield in the Nigerian environment.
Nigeria, one of Pan Africa’s lender’s largest and strategic markets, recorded 5.01 percent year on year GDP growth in the second quarter of 2021, supported by the reopening of the economy and successful rollout of vaccines, according to recent data by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Total operating expenses were down 3% to N300.71 billion, reflecting the benefits accrued from prior year staff and branch optimisation. That is in addition to other efficiency initiatives such as out-sourcing power helped to substantially reduce capital expenditures.
The Pan African lender recorded remarkable growth in value and volume of electronic product transactions, capitalizing on the proliferation of smartphones across the continent to bring more customers to the financial ecosystem and deepening financial inclusion.