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FBN Holdings targets increased shareholder returns

FBN Holdings targets increased shareholder returns

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’Femi Asu

FBN Holdings Plc has said it will consolidate on the progress made last year to deliver a strong and sustainable performance that enhances returns to shareholders.

The Chairman, FBN Holdings Plc, Mr. Oba Otudeko, stated this in his address to the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting of the company in Lagos on Tuesday.

He said the flagship subsidiary of the group, First Bank Nigeria Limited, sustained its leadership position in the e-payment space, emerging as the first financial institution in Nigeria and West Africa to issue 10 million cards to customers.

Otudeko added that the bank was recognised as the first financial institution in Nigeria to achieve an electronic transaction volume of 100 million in a month.

The Group Managing Director, FBN Holdings Plc, Mr. Urum Eke, said the company would intensify efforts in loan recovery going forward.

Some of the shareholders had raised concerns that the huge provisioning for non-performing loans was affecting the bank’s bottom line and the dividend payment.

Eke said even though the company had not recorded a full resolution of its non-performing loans, it had made significant progress in dealing with the situation.

He added that the company had ensured a strong asset quality from recent credits, leading to NPL declining from 24.4 per cent in 2016 to 22.8 per cent in 2017.

According to him, the top-line continues to grow despite the industry-wide slowdown in loan growth as a result of the recession, which halted business activities across industries.

Eke said, “The group recorded gross earnings of N595.4bn, representing a growth of 2.3 per cent over the prior year of N581.8bn despite a drop in loans and advances from N2.083tn in 2016 to N2.001tn in 2017.

“This earnings growth underlines the inherent strength and resilience of FBN Holdings Group and reinforces our promise to the market to maximise the assets portfolio of the group revenue.”

According to the GMD, the collective aspirations of rebuilding the company is sacrosanct and goes to the core their actions and decisions.

“This resolution not only has implications for the short-term returns to the shareholders of this iconic institution, but more fundamentally to position for prosperous future by enhancing the financial health of every business with the group and optimising the inherent capacity of the group through collaboration and economies of scale,” he said.

FBN Holdings recorded profit after tax of N47.8bn in 2017, up by 178 per cent from N17.1bn in 2016, while a dividend of 25 kobo per share was paid to the shareholders.

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