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Diamond Bank CEO Highlights Steps Taken to Return to Profit in 2018

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Shareholders of Diamond Bank Plc have been assured not to worry too much about the loss the financial institution recorded in the 2017 business year as the bank plans to bounce back this year and give investors something to cheer about.

This assurance was given by the chief executive of Diamond Bank, Mr Uzoma Dozie, who highlighted steps taken by the lender to achieve the above goal.

In the results released last Friday, Diamond Bank recorded a loss after tax of N9.011 billion against the profit after tax of N3.498 billion in 2016, while the net interest income fell from N96.543 billion in 2017 to N98.284 billion in 2016.

In addition, the net fee and commission income stood at N37.068 billion, from N41.432 billion in 2016, while the net impairment stood at N56.830 billion in 2017, down marginally from N57.015 billion in 2016.

Also, the total expenses rose from N83.569 billion to N88.847 billion in 2017.

However, the gross earnings increased to N189.622 billion from N184.056 billion posted in 2016.

The weak results surprised investors, who were not expecting what the lender churned out.

But Mr Dozie urged investors to remain calm, assuring them that the bank will return to profit this year especially with economic activities picking up in the country.

He said the positive projection is based on the fact that Diamond Bank, “Increased our market share and drove scale through a combination of technology and expansion of our services across additional platforms.

“For instance, we made additional inroads to the unbanked and underbanked populations with the support of our international partners.

“In addition, the rapid rollout of products and services for entrepreneurs, and small and medium business owners gained significant traction and is a trend that is set to continue.”

He said at the macro level, the economic environment improved, albeit marginally, stressing that, “Against this backdrop and Nigeria’s broader positive fundamentals, we disposed of some non-core assets to optimise the use of our resources and focus on the significant potential of our domestic market.”

Mr Dozie explained that, “By taking this action, Diamond Bank is better positioned to accelerate its growth, productivity and profitability in the short to medium term.”

However, he agreed that “more work is to be done, particularly in relation to our oil and gas exposure,” but he emphasised that overall the quality of the loan book has improved.

“This will remain a key area of focus over the next 12 months. Looking ahead, I am optimistic that due to the actions we have taken as well as an improving economy, Diamond Bank will continue to make good progress and achieve greater profitability,” he said.

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Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

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