Sterling Bank Plc grew its shareholders’ fund by 20.2 per cent to N102.9bn in 2017 from N85.7bn in 2016.
The lender said on Thursday at its 56th Annual General Meeting in Lagos that it would continue to focus on key growth sectors of the economy to drive sustainable growth and deliver higher returns to shareholders.
It reported a profit after tax of N8.5bn for the financial year ended December 31, 2017 as against N5.2bn for the same period of 2016, representing an increase of 65 per cent.
The bank’s gross earnings rose by 19.8 per cent to N133.5bn from N111.4bn in the corresponding period of 2016.
The Chairman, Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Asue Ighodalo, while addressing shareholders, said, “The business outlook presents an opportunity for us to navigate our growth by innovative means. As a business, we will continue to focus on key growth sectors of the Nigerian economy and leverage our areas of strength to drive sustainable growth and deliver superior returns to our esteemed shareholders.”
He assured shareholders of the bank’s commitment to delivering tailor-made solutions in line with the global Sustainable Development Goals and the Central Bank of Nigeria’s sustainable banking principle.
He said, “As a matter of necessity, we remain committed to delivering solutions that satisfy stakeholders’ needs and objectives while also providing adequate financial returns to shareholders.”
Ighodalo attributed the bank’s improved performance to shared purpose by all stakeholders.
He commended the board, management, shareholders and Mr. Yemi Adeola, who retired in April as managing director and chief executive of the bank, for their hard work, commitment and support.
The Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bank, Abubakar Suleiman, said, “We will continue to execute the plans to drive efficiency across the business under the three pillars of agility, digitisation and specialisation in the new financial year.
“These pillars will propel us towards sustainable growth by enhancing our ability to innovate; solidify our retail funding base; strengthen our enterprise-wide risk management framework and drive excellent service delivery across all channels to enhance customer experience.”
He said the bank’s 2017 performance highlighted its underlying institutional strength despite delicate operating conditions, adding that major investments in technology were made infrastructure to provide excellent services to customers, grow markets and create new ones more efficiently.
According to Suleiman, Sterling Bank is actively mobilising private sector capital to solve some of the most pressing social and economic needs of Nigerians.
“We have aligned the bank’s business model to offer financial and non-financial solutions to key areas which are at the HEART of Sterling Bank – Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy, and Transportation. We are driven by the conviction that these sectors are important catalysts for our country’s socio-economic growth and sustainable development,” he said.