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Sterling HoldCo Grows Assets to N2.5 tn as Shareholders Endorse Expansion Plans

Major shareholders of one of Nigeria’s leading financial conglomerates, Sterling Financial Holdings Company Plc expressed their delight with the leadership and financial performance of the group at its recently held inaugural annual general meeting. The comments came as a result of the group’s continued abilities to post impressive growth numbers in its first full year of operations, despite a challenging macro-economic environment.

The holding company delivered a 36% increase in its assets size, growing to N 2.5 trillion, and a 26.6% rise in its earnings to deliver N 221 billion. Both figures represent a significant increase in the group’s performance as contained in its annual report and financial statements for the 2023 financial year.

Dissecting the numbers further, the group earned N 156 billion and N 65.7 billion in interest and non-interest income respectively, representing a growth of 21.5% and 40.6% from the 2022 financial year’s numbers. It achieved this while attracting N 1.8 trillion in customers’ deposits into its two banking subsidiaries: Sterling Bank and The Alternative Bank.

These have helped the group post N 21.6 billion in profit, and an admirable 75 kobo in earnings per ordinary share for 2023. Numbers which signify continued growth of 11.8% an 11.9% for the respective performance metrics from the publicly traded company’s 2022 postings.

Commenting on the company’s immediate plans, Sterling HoldCo’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Yemi Odubiyi, said in his statement to the company’s shareholders: “In line with evolving regulatory standards and the recent introduction of minimum capital requirements by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), we will be seeking shareholders’ approval to raise up to N200 billion from the market. This capital infusion will strengthen and position us for sustained growth.”

Odubiyi also highlighted the performance of the holding company’s current subsidiaries; Sterling Bank, a conventional bank, and The Alternative Bank, an ethical banking business, and intimated shareholders on the group’s intentions to build non-banking revenue lines to progress the group’s rapid growth and capture even more value for shareholders by offering a wider range of services under the trusted Sterling brand.

The Group CEO stated that the group will continue its current trajectory by maintaining a customer-centric approach, while making strategic investments in sustainable ventures that align with the company’s core values.

The published results maintain the trajectory of growth Sterling has achieved against the backdrop of macroeconomic headwinds, which have severely impacted the profitability of large corporations and small businesses alike in Nigeria.

Industry observers will recall that Sterling HoldCo recently completed a significant milestone by transforming from a bank to a full-fledged financial holdings company by delisting, transferring, and relisting all shares to the Sterling Financial Holdings Company on the floor of the NGX.

The holding company affords Sterling the opportunity to leverage its successful HEART strategy, which has seen the group make consolidated investments in the Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy, and Transportation sectors, growing the company’s year-on-year profits to record highs in recent years.

With the adoption of the Holdco structure now in full effect, Sterling now possesses the latitude to make inroads into other sectors within financial services, such as pensions, asset management, payment services, real estate, and different verticals, along with the current banking licenses held by the commercial and ethical banking subsidiaries, Sterling Bank and The Alternative Bank, which will operate as limited liability companies within the publicly traded holding company.

Sterling has maintained impressive momentum in recent years, featuring on the prestigious the 100 fastest-growing companies in Africa list for 2023, as published by the globally recognised Financial Times, its citation as Africa’s Most Valuable Commercial Bank Brand for 2023 in a poll conducted by GeoPoll and Kantar for African Brand Magazine, and was been named a top three employer in Nigeria by LinkedIn in the social network’s Top 25 List for 2023.

Renowned for its irreverent brand voice and enviable talent management practices, Sterling recently received three citations for Company Leadership Gender Diversity, Gender Diversity in Supply Chain, and Family-Friendly Workplace as bestowed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) at the Gender Leader Awards 2023.

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