Nigeria’s biggest lender by market value, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO) saw declining revenue and profit levels for the nine months to September, according to the group’s unaudited earnings report for the period obtained on Wednesday, an indication of its struggle to arrest a pattern of waning interest income in recent times.
GTCO posted gross earnings in the sum of N318.5 billion, meaning a fall of 3.5 per cent from 2020 level, when it stood at N330 billion, according to the document posted by the Nigerian Exchange Limited.
The holdco has now reported two consecutive quarters of profit contraction and could report its first annual profit and revenue drop for the first time in at least half a decade if the trend is not tamed before year end.
But fees and commission income, the group’s biggest source of income after interest, grew more than a half to N56.6 billion on the strength of E-business income, which contributed 28 per cent to that earnings category.
Nigerian banks are leaning on rapid digitisation of banking processes through e-business services like mobile, internet and agency banking services to meet the yearning of a largely youthful, vibrant and digital-savvy population who are passionate about conducting transactions away from the hassles of the banking hall.
That is also helping lenders to cushion the hazards an accumulation of impaired credit has wrought on earnings by reason of the pandemic outbreak.
The five biggest lenders – FBN Holdings, United Bank for Africa, GTCO, Access Bank and Zenith Bank – generated N115.8 billion between them from January and June, a 51 per cent boost compared to what they reported for the same period last year.
GTCO’s pre-tax profit came to N151.9 billion, 9.2 per cent weaker while the profit for the period fell by one-tenth to N129.4 billion from last year’s level.
The group closed trade in Lagos on Tuesday at N28.10 per unit, shedding 0.35 per cent.
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