FCMB Group Plc (“FCMB”) posted a profit before tax (PBT) of N5.8 billion, for the first quarter ended 31 March 2015, up 4% from N5.6 billion for the first quarter ended 31 March 2014.

During the first quarter of 2015 (1Q15), FCMB continued the profitable growth of its commercial banking (FCMB Limited), financial advisory (FCMB Capital Markets Limited) and stockbroking (CSL Stockbrokers Limited) businesses.

In 1Q15, the Group’s total assets grew 20%, from first quarter 2014 (prior year) to N1.2 trillion, deposits grew 11%, from prior year, to N760 billion and loans grew 18%, year on year, to N582 billion.

The business growth resulted in improved financial performance, as net interest income grew 8%, from prior year, to over N18 billion, while profit before tax rose 4% from N5.6 billion, year on year, to N5.8 billion and profit after tax grew 9% from N4.83 billion, prior year, to N5.28 billion.

FCMB also finished the quarter with robust capital and liquidity ratios, at 22% and 41%, respectively.

The Retail Banking Division continued to gain momentum – total retail deposits grew 32%, year on year, and now accounts for 53% of the bank’s deposits.

Meanwhile, the retail loan portfolio, now at 35.8% of total loans, grew 27% (N45bn), from prior year, to N215bn.

The quarter also witnessed increased patronage of FCMB’s credit card offering, with 6,390 cards issued.

The investment banking group of FCMB – comprising of FCMB Capital Markets Ltd (FCMB-CM) and CSL Stockbrokers Ltd (CSLS) – also had a strong quarter, with PBT rising 36% from N198 million, prior year, to N269 million, driven by financial advisory, trading and equity brokerage.

During the quarter, FCMB-CM was mandated financial adviser for a global financial institution sponsored development of a comprehensive state-of-the-art medical facility in Lagos.

FCMB-CM also completed (as joint book runner) a N28.2 billion debt capital raising exercise for a state government and was mandated Joint Lead Arranger to raise US$450 million to refinance the existing debt facilities of a gas processing and distribution company.

FCMB-CM, additionally advised a fast moving consumer goods company on the restructuring of its business. During the quarter, FCMB-CM received the IJ Global Award, for Africa oil & gas deal of the year 2014.

Mr. Peter Obaseki, Managing Director of FCMB Group Plc, had this to say about the results:

“The business environment in the first quarter was subdued by the political activities and a degree of un-certainties which have largely cleared-out. The monetary stance remains tight

with inflation creeping up to 8.5% as at the end of March; broad money supply, MM2, annualised, contracted by 10.23%.

It is against this background that we report first quarter growth in gross revenue and profit after tax of 16% and 9% and in actual terms, N39.3 billion and N5.3 billion respectively.