By Dipo Olowookere Group Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Group, Mr Ade Adeyemi, has expressed his excitement towards the rate at which the financial institution was growing after a turbulent period caused by economic crisis in Nigeria.
Reacting to the financial statements of the company for the year ended December 31, 2018, released on Thursday, the Ecobank chief said he was also happy with the value the bank has delivered to shareholders.
While describing the 2018 performance as “remarkable in many ways,” Mr Adeyemi said efforts would be made to continue to achieve more successes.
“Our financial performance in 2018 was remarkable in many ways and reflected the meaningful and significant progress that we have made against the priorities that we set in our ‘Roadmap to Leadership’ strategy.
“We delivered a 51 percent growth in profit before tax to $436 million and generated a return on tangible equity of 21 percent.
“Our cost-of-risk of 2.4 percent was an improvement on 2017 and demonstrated the progress that we have made addressing credit quality issues and enhancing internal control processes.
“In Francophone and Anglophone West Africa regions we delivered sustainable growth and value for shareholders. While in Nigeria, and the Central, Eastern and Southern Africa, regions we are spurred on by the gradual progress being made.
“Our businesses continued to serve customers diligently and with purpose and all delivered profit growth in 2018, with Commercial Bank overturning the loss before tax made in 2017.
“We continued to invest in the technology platforms to accelerate our shift from ‘physical’ to ‘digital’ and we are supporting our customers with digitally innovative products to enrich their engagements with Ecobank.
“To meet a key goal of expanding financial services to the unbanked, we have increased the number of Xpress Points, our agency network, to about 14,000 and we plan to grow this number.
“Our cash management and trade finance products, such as, Omni and e-Trade, are providing our customers with the convenience and efficiency of executing their cross-border transactions across Africa,” he said.Concluding, Mr Adeyemi said, “Overall, we are excited about the prospects for the firm and for Africa. Yes, risks remain, and economic cycles come and go, but we will remain steadfast in serving our customers well.“I am proud of the work that Ecobankers have done in the last three years to stabilise the firm and position it for long-term success. I am very grateful to them.”