While approving a dividend payout of N7.18 billion, shareholders of First Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc has commended the board and management of the company for the dividend payout despite unfriendly business year.
At the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Friday shareholders approved dividend amounting to 20 kobo per share, which was 33 per cent higher than the 15k per share paid in the at the end of 2015 financial year.
Mr Sunny Nwosu, the National Coordinator Emeritus, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), commended the company for declaring dividend in spite of high impairment.
Nwosu said that the shareholders appreciated the dividend considering the unfriendly operating environment and impairment charge for credit losses.
He, however, tasked the company’s board and management to devise strategies aimed at fighting the impairment to improve operating profit.
The shareholder said that the company should go out aggressively to recover the loans for better dividends payment in the future, adding that this was the best time to buy into the company in order to be part of its success story.
Mr Bayo Adeleke, the immediate past ISAN Secretary added that FBN Holdings was resilient as it had passed through many storms, noting that the new leadership of the company had been able to turn things around.
He, however, advised that the company needed to support the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as the nation’s engine of development through lending.
The Group Chairman of the Holdings earlier in his statement, noted that despite the moderated global and domestic economic performance, the Group realised an additional N12.94 billion from revenue synergis through cross-sell and collaboration among the variousacross entities in the holding company was more than five million naira.
“In continuation of of our strategy to maximise the opportunities for revenue extractions and cost reduction inherent in the Group, we expect to realise N24.3 billion over the next three years, with a likely upside from newer permissible products in annuities and insurance,” he said.
The Holdings’s gross earnings was 15.7 per cent to N581.8 billion in 2016 against N205.8 billion in the corresponding period in the previous year with net interest income increasing by 14.8 percent to N304.4 billion and non-interest income up 68.9 per cent to N165.5 billion. The company cut its operating expenses -0.8 per cent to N220.9 billion during this period.
FBN Holdings’ profit after tax rose 6.3 per cent to N22.9 billion during the period under review as customers deposits increased to N3.1 trillion, 4.5 percent better than N3 trillion in 2015 and customer loans and advances rose 1.7 percent to N2.1 trillion in 2016. Its earnings per share also increased to 53 kobo from 44 kobo in 2015, indicating a 20.4 rise.
Meanwhile, Mr U.K. Eke, Group, Managing Director, FBN Holdings has reassured shareholders that the group has put in place structures that they get better return of their investment in 2017.
He stated that the company used the recessionary period in the country to clean up its books so that when the economy recovers it would be able to better dividends to its shareholders.
Eke added that due to the challenge of rising costs which the group encountered last year as a result of increasing inflation in the country, it had to allow the commercial bank to retain its earnings for future growth instead of asking shareholders for fresh funds.
The post FBN Holdings shareholders applaud N7.18bn dividend appeared first on Tribune.