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HomeNewsAccess Corporation: Assets Soar By 43% On Strong Growth Trajectory

Access Corporation: Assets Soar By 43% On Strong Growth Trajectory


 

October 29, (THEWILL) – Access Corporation added N6.40 trillion to its assets in the nine months of the year, thereby growing its balance sheet by 43 percent as of September 30, 2023, according to its Q3 interim financial statement filed with the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) last week.

The Tier-1 financial services institution and Nigeria’s largest quoted company by assets posted a balance sheet of N21.33 trillion as of the third quarter (Q3) of 2023 compared to N14.95 trillion at December 31, 2022.

The robust performance mirrors the group’s acceleration towards its 2023 targets as contained in its five-year strategic plan (2023-2027) unveiled in January this year;

It also underlines its corporate strategies in forming a holco structure eighteen months ago (March 2022) during which the group has recorded enhanced expansion that would consolidate its grips on industry leadership as Nigeria’s largest quoted firm by assets.

The growth trajectory seen in the reporting period hinges on the strong parameters which reflects in the topline and bottom line performance of the group.

This was enhanced by the substantial foreign exchange gains that accrued to banks, following the devaluation of the naira in June 2023 when the multiple foreign exchange market was abolished to give way to a unified official forex window.

The market witnessed a 67 percent depreciation of the local currency which traded N789.94 per dollar on the official window as against N476.67 per dollar on June 13, 2023 before the naira was floated the next day when it closed at N664.04 per dollar.

Access Corporation posted profit before tax of N126.81 billion against N49.50 billion in Q3 2022, representing a 156.19 percent increase.

This was driven by strong growth in interest income and foreign exchange gains.

According to the group’s financial statements for Q3 2023, the company’s profit after tax (PAT) was N115.00 billion, a 138.27 per cent increase from the N48.26 billion recorded in the corresponding period in 2022.

This is amid increasing inflation which the economy continues to struggle with. Headline inflation increased to 26.72% in September, representing a 0.92 per cent-point rise from the previous month’s 25.80 percent.

This financial performance in Q3 2022 took the group’s pre-tax profit in the first nine months of 2023 to N250.444 billion, a whopping increase of 82.93 per cent from the N136.914 billion recorded in the first nine months of 2022.

As of the end of Q3 2023, the group’s Fair value and foreign exchange gain stood at N122.555 billion, a 119.35 per cent increase from the previous quarter.

The impressive performance comes on the heels of raging inflation among other economic headwinds which have business activities more challenging.

Wigwe

Data from the recently released Consumer Price Index (CPI) report for September 2023 by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that the inflation rate rose to an over 18-year high of 26.7 percent in September from 25.8 percent in the previous month.

The surge in inflation is primarily attributed to the removal of petrol subsidies and the devaluation of the official exchange rate, both significantly impacting consumer prices.

At the presentation of the five-year strategic plan in Lagos in January 2023, the Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Access Corporation, Mr Herbert Wigwe, emphasised that its expansion programme would be driven by technological innovation. Apparently to maintain its industry leadership narrative.

“By the end of 2027, we expect to be in at least 26 countries and in at least 3 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries supporting trade (in the United Kingdom, France & United States of America).

“The customer acquisition drive to hit 100mn for the Retail Business by 2027 will continue, as we emigrate the majority of customers to digital platforms by 2027 across touch-points.”

He added, “We want to be a global player with African heritage. We are a growth-oriented organisation and we will continue to invest in our people amid changes.”

We had reported that in what looks like a drive on expansion cruise, the group has intensified its expansion strategy through the acquisition of whole or partial entities in banking, insurance, pension and payment services.

Last July, Access Holdings Plc and Standard Chartered Bank announced that they had reached an agreement wherein its flagship subsidiary – Access Bank Plc – will acquire Standard Chartered’s sub-saharan subsidiaries.

Under this acquisition deal, Access Bank will purchase Standard Chartered’s shareholding in its subsidiaries located in Angola, Cameroon, Gambia, and Sierra Leone.

Additionally, Access Bank will also acquire Standard Chartered’s consumer, private, and business banking business in Tanzania. This followed Access Bank’s recent acquisition of a 51 percent majority equity stake in Finibanco Angola.

Based on the company’s annual report, there are about 13 African subsidiaries with investment at a balance sheet value of about N273 billion as of December 31, 2022

The ‘new arrivals will join the many subsidiaries of the bank in the continent to consolidate towards achieving the target of the corporate strategic plan which was one of the reasons for transitioning to a Holco structure.

The current share price of Access Holdings Plc is N16.95. The stock closed its last trading day (Friday, October 27, 2023) at N16.95 per share on the NGX.

Access began the year with a share price of N8.50 and has since gained 99.4 per cent on that price valuation, ranking it 37th on the NGX in terms of year-to-date performance.

Analysts believe that shareholders can be optimistic about Access Holdings knowing the stock has accrued 9 per cent over the past four-week period—18th best on NGX.

Findings show that Access Holdings is the fourth most traded stock on the NGX over the past three months (Jul 31 – Oct 27, 2023). The stock has traded a total volume of 1.9 billion shares—in 26,938 deals—valued at N31.5 billion over the period, with an average of 30.2 million traded shares per session.

A volume high of 113 million was achieved on September 25th, and a low of 6.02 million on August 9th for the same period.

THEWILL recalls that Access Holdings Plc in April 2023 announced the completion of a $300 million capital investment into its flagship subsidiary, Access Bank Plc, the proceeds of which will supplement the capital needs of its African expansion strategy.

The Investment, which was approved by the CBN, takes the form of a Tier 1 capital qualifying Mandatory Convertible Instrument and is expected to improve the Bank’s shareholders funds and total capital ratios.

Commenting on the transaction, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, Group Chief Executive of Access Holdings said:

“As a leading financial institution in the continent, we remain foresighted in our approach to our growth and capitalisation needs. This investment is a capstone initiative following the US$500 million Additional Tier 1 capital raised by the Bank in 2021 and advances its vision to be the World’s Most Respected African Bank.

“Access Holdings benefits from this non-dilutive approach to raising growth capital as we continue to invest in initiatives geared towards delivering our vision of building a globally connected community and ecosystem inspired by Africa for the World through disciplined growth and diversification.”