FCMB Group released its unaudited financial statement for the period ended 31 December 2023 last week to the Nigerian Exchange Group, showing strong improvement across the top and bottom lines. From revenue to profit after tax, and the total income of the year, the financial conglomerate showed strong outing in 2023.

Revenue for the period rose a record 82.6 percent to N516.79 billion at the end of 2023, over the N282.98 billion realised in the previous year. The group generated N355.68 billion as interest income, bolstered by the high interest rate regime in the country, which was the apex bank’s response to the surging headline and food inflation rates. In 2022, the group generated N219.55 billion as interest income.

Interest expense surged to N178.25 billion in 2023 as against N97.55 billion in the previous year, invariably leaving the company with a net interest income of N177.42 billion as of December 2023 compared to N121.99 billion realised as of December 2022.

Personnel expenses rose to N51.31 billion in 2023, representing an increase of 44.6 percent over the N35.61 billion paid in 2022. The breakdown of the personnel expenses showed that FCMB paid N35.31 billion as wages and salaries in 2023 as against N25.29 billion in 2022; it also paidN1.01 billion in 2023 as contributions to defined contribution plans, compared to N716.668 million paid on behalf of its employees in 2022.

Other employee benefits such as non-payroll staff cost including medical expenses, club subscriptions, among other gulped N15,17 billion in 2023 as against N9.59 billion in 2022.

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The Nigerian Observer could not verify if the increase in personnel expenses was due to the employment of more hands, or if the current employees had their wages and salaries raised to cushion the effect of the surging inflation rate in Nigeria.

Profit after tax increased by a whopping 206.9 percent to N95.52 billion in 2023 compared to N31.13 billion realised in the previous year.

The total income was bolstered by exchange differences. It should be noted that the naira depreciated against major international currencies, especially the United States dollar from about N466/$ in around June of 2023 to about N900/$ toward the end 2023.

The group made N13.4 billion through foreign currency translation differences. It also made N26.51 billion through foreign currency translation differences for foreign operations, bringing its total income of the year to N145.69 billion compared to N35.86 billion the financial group realised in 2022.

Investors have reacted positively to the news. By gaining 60 kobo on NGX, the share price of FCMB closed at N11.10 per share, representing a daily gain of 5.7 percent, and a year-to-date gain of 188.3 percent.