Guaranty Trust Bank Plc has reported a profit before tax of N57 billion in the first three month of the year, 2019 The bank’s unaudited financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019 was released to the investing public on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and London Stock Exchange. The Bank recorded positive performance across all financial metrics with gross earnings for the period growing by 1.2 per cent to N110.3 billion from N109 billion posted in March 2018. Profit before tax improved to N57 billion from N52.6 billion recorded in the corresponding period of March 2018, representing a growth of 8.3 per cent. Customers’ deposits also rose by six per cent to N2.410 trillion in March 2019 from N2.274 trillion in December 2018, whilst the bank’s loan book grew by 1.6 per cent from N1.262 trillion as at December 2018 to N1.282 trillion in March 2019. Balance sheet remained strong with the bank closing the quarter ended March 31, 2019 with total assets of N3.556 trillion and shareholders’ funds of N627.2 billion. In terms of Assets quality, non-performing loan (NPL) ratio and Cost of Risk closed 7.03 per cent and 0.05 per cent in March 2019 from 7.30 per cent and 0.34 per cent in December 2018 respectively. In addition, coverage for NPL stood at 90.12 per cent while Full Impact Capital adequacy ratio remained very strong, closing at 22.25 per cent. On the backdrop of this result, Post Tax Return on Equity (ROAE) and Return on Assets (ROAA) closed at 32.79 per cent and 5.76 per cent respectively. The bank noted that these indices are pointer to GTBank’s strategic positioning in Nigeria and other Countries where the Group operates. Speaking on the first quarter results, the managing director/CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank, Mr Segun Agbaje, said: “Going into 2019, we knew that it would be a challenging year, but our strategy and unwavering focus on delivering value for our customers and shareholders continues to underpin our ability to consistently deliver solid results despite changing market variables. “We carried on the momentum of the previous year, posting strong growth in earnings, effectively managing costs and leveraging our digital-first customer-centric strategy to deliver world-class services that are simple, cheap and easily accessible.” He further stated that, “Whilst ensuring the long-term growth of our business is the greatest value that we can create for our communities, we are also leveraging our resources, expertise and network to help people thrive. That is why, from April 28 to May 1, 2019, we are organising the biggest food and drink festival in Africa to give small businesses in the food industry the platform, network and access to the markets that they need to grow.” He added that GTBank has continued to be best in class in terms of profitability, efficiency and capital among peers and other financial institutions in Nigeria. According to Agbaje, this is evidenced by its earnings per share of N1.74, Return on Equity (ROAE) of 32.79 per cent, Cost to Income Ratio of 38.64 per cent and Capital Adequacy of 22.25 per cent. These metrics are a testament to the efficient management of the bank.