Shareholders of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC on Tuesday endorsed the bank’s 2017 dividend recommended by the board for the financial year ended December 31, 2017.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the shareholders gave the approval at the company’s sixth Annual General Meeting, AGM, held in Lagos.
The shareholders endorsed the final dividend of 50k per share recommended by the bank having earlier paid an interim dividend of 60k interim.
Patrick Ajudua, a shareholder, commended the board and management for steering the ship of the bank in a positive direction.
Mr Ajudua who said the dividend declared was commendable and called on the bank to ensure a higher dividend in the 2018 financial year.
He also tasked the company on loan recovery, cost efficiency and improvement in risk asset to optimise growth and development.
Bisi Bakare, President, Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria, lauded the management for the impressive performance and efficient running of the company, amidst the harsh economic environment.
Mrs Bakare commended the company for the improved performance posted during the period under review and adherence to corporate governance principles.
She, however, urged the bank to ensure consistency in dividend policy to increase shareholders’ value on investment.
Speaking on the dividend, Yinka Sanni, the company’s chief executive officer, said the dividend policy was as a result of the investment made in 2017 financial year.
Mr Sanni said the company increased its stake in one of the subsidiaries from 70 per cent to 88 per cent.
According to him, the company financed the investment from internal resources, and that the investment would translate to higher dividends in the years ahead.
Mr Sanni explained that the company had the option of paying the money as dividend to shareholders, stressing that future investment was better.
He said the improved performance was evidence of the positive outcome of the group’s strategy of growing the client base across target and key market segments while maintaining a principled credit process.
“The Group reported its best profitability results since inception. We achieved a 70 per cent growth in profit after tax amid healthy capital and liquidity levels.
“Our balance sheet grew by 32 per cent to N1.39 trillion and this was funded mainly by customers’ deposit growth of 34 per cent,” Mr Sanni stated.
He said the various business divisions achieved strong operating results and retained market leadership across the various businesses such as global markets, investment banking, pension and stockbroking, among others.
Mr Sanni said the company received several accolades during the 2017 financial year.
According to Basil Omiyi, the company’s chairman, the bank’s gross earnings increased from N156.4 billion in 2016 to N212.4 billion in 2017, 36 per cent growth.
Mr Omiyi said its profit after tax stood at N48.4 billion, representing a growth of 70 per cent over N28.5 billion recorded in 2016.
He added that profit before tax grew by 64 per cent from N37.2 billion posted in 2016 to N61. 2 billion.
According to him, total assets increased to N1.39 trillion last year, a 32 per cent boost against N1.05 trillion recorded in the previous year.
He said the growth in the balance sheet size was driven mainly by customer deposits, which recorded a growth of 34 per cent from N561.0 billion in 2016 to N753.6 billion in 2017.
Gross loans and advances also rose by eight per cent to N403.9 billion, compared to N375.3 billion recorded in December 2016.
The group’s total capital adequacy ratio of the bank closed at 23.5 percent, which is significantly higher than the 10 per cent minimum regulatory requirement.