Ghana’s biggest bank, Ecobank Ghana registered a year-on-year profit of 33% in the first quarter of this year to GH¢168.2 million, its unaudited first quarter financial statement has revealed.
This was as a result of significant growth in interest income, largely investments in government securities, despite the impact of covid-19 pandemic on the Ghanaian economy.
Net interest income surged from GH¢287.5 million in March 2020 to GH¢364.8 million in March 2021, whilst net fees and commissions also went up to GH¢58.5 million in the first three months of this year, from GH¢54 million the same period a year ago.
Consequently, Return on Average Equity grew by 31%, while Return on Average Assets was estimated at 5%.
From the financial statement, the earnings could have been more if not for covid-19, which compel the bank to slowdown lending activities in the first three months of this year.
The strong growth in earnings resulted in an increased earnings per share of GH¢2.09 in March 2021, compared with GH¢1.47 a year ago. This means shareholders of the bank will be smiling with additional 62 pesewas gains.
The balance sheet size still stood a little over GH¢29 billion, similar to what was recorded in December 2020. Customer deposits however grew by 16% to hit GH¢11.6 billion at the end of March 2021.
In terms of stability of the bank, non-performing loans stood at 12%, lower than the industry average of 15.5%.
Capital Adequacy Ratio-a measurement of a bank’s available capital to its Risk Weighted Assets, was way above the industry average at 19.4% in December 2020, signifying a stronger bank.
Overall, Ecobank is highly liquid as liquidity ratio stood at 96.44%.
|Return on Average Assets||5%|
|Return on Average Equity||31%|
|Non Funded Income to Total Income||24%|
Financial Highlights March 2021 – March 2020
|Profit before Tax||240.5m||168.8m||33%|