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First City Monument Bank Plc (FCMB) has announced gross revenue earnings of N35.86 billion for the nine months period ended 31 January 2008. This represents 104 percent growth from N17.54 billion recorded in the prior year period.

The bank also maintained an industry leading operating profitability margin based on its un-audited result for the period released on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange in Lagos recently. Whilst both profit before taxation (PBT) and the after tax profit (PAT) moved higher on the growth path, rising 154 percent from N4.43 billion to N11. 24 billion and N3.54 billion to N8.89 billion within the period respectively, the bank recorded an operating margin of 31 percent. This has been described by analysts as the highest in the industry.

FCMB Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Ladi Balogun said “so far, this financial year has proved an historic year for FCMB despite the dilution effects of our successful public offer in November. These figures pay testimony to the quality and dedication our people to set standards in Nigeria banking industry by bringing innovative banking products to Nigeria’s corporations and individuals. We anticipate even more accomplishments in 2008,”

This sterling performance also paved way for the bank’s earnings per share to increase by 46 percent to 54.87 kobo, compared to earnings per share of 37.5 kobo in the prior year period. This is despite an increase in the shareholder’s equity to N38.9 billion from N29.77 billion in the prior year period. Based on the company’s forecasts, which management believes will be surpassed, it is expected that by the fourth quarter, earnings per share will rise close to N1.00 per share inspite of the enlarged post offer share capital

Balogun added, “As we enter 2008, we are continuing to maintain our industry-leading growth and expect another very good year. As a banking group we will continue to build on our leadership in corporate finance activities. In addition we expect 2008 to mark the beginning of several new earnings streams for FCMB as our consumer banking business reaches breakeven point to be followed by geometric earnings growth. Coupled with this will be the impact of the consolidation of City Securities Limited into Group accounts. Indeed with these developments and a capital base now well in excess of N120 billion, FCMB has entered a new realm in the scale of our operations, one in which all stakeholders will benefit.