Home Finance First Bank to expand retail business in Nigeria

First Bank to expand retail business in Nigeria

by Business News Report

Nigeria’s First Bank will pursue an “aggressive” expansion strategy into next year as it seeks to tap into the growing consumer market in Africa’s most populous country, its chief executive said on Thursday. Bisi Onasanya told a conference call with analysts the top-tier lender will focus on an organic growth plan by opening new branches to mop up cheap retail deposits and drive profitability into 2013. It had a total of 721 branches in September 2012.
“We set ourselves a target to open 135 branches by 2013 and as we speak we have opened 75 and we have 60 under construction,” Onasanya said on the call, while presenting the bank’s third quarter results. He said the bank was targeting a return on equity (ROE) of between 20-25 percent for 2013. The bank’s shares were up 0.25 percent at 16.30 naira at the market close.
First Bank reported a pretax profit growth of 48 percent in the nine months to September of 75.7 billion naira ($482 mln), compared with 51 billion naira in the same period of last year. Gross earnings hit 267.7 billion naira during the nine months period, compared to 225 billion naira in the same period of 2011. “We have a clear and achievable growth strategy with core focus on Nigeria, given favourable long term economic and demographic dynamics,” he said.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment