Shareholders of FCMB Group Plc have approved payment of a cash dividend of 14 kobo per ordinary share, which translates to N2.77 billion, for the year ended December 31, 2019.
The shareholders, who gave the endorsement at the 7th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the group in Lagos, also applauded the financial institution for its resilience, dynamism and impressive performance recorded last year despite the challenging operating environment.
The AGM was held by proxy, following the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic, and streamed live via www.fcmb.com/AGM to shareholders of the financial institution who were unable to physically attend due to the lockdown imposed by the government.
The decision to hold the AGM by proxy was to avoid unnecessary physical contact among attendees and in line with the social distancing protocol to avoid the spread of the pandemic. The meeting was previously scheduled before COVID-19 hit Nigeria.
The Chairman of FCMB Group, Mr. Oladipupo Jadesimi, while presenting the report, stated that all the three business groups within FCMB Group Plc reported improved performances, in terms of higher earnings and profits, compared to what was achieved in 2018.
He expressed gratitude to shareholders for joining the meeting as well as their unflinching support, which has made FCMB to wax stronger.
According to him, “the Board of Directors have adopted a policy that seeks to provide investors with a stable and sustainable form of capital distribution, with consideration given to the growth and capital requirements of the business, thereby maximising long-term share value for shareholders.”
Also speaking at the AGM, the Group Chief Executive of FCMB Group Plc, Mr. Ladi Balogun, said: “Our businesses continue to improve with growth in other key indicators, such as loans and advances, deposits and Assets Under Management (AUM), which grew by 13.1 per cent, 14.7 per cent and 28.3 per cent, respectively. Our customer base also grew by 27.5 per cent across the group from 5.5 million to 7 million. Overall customer satisfaction has shown positive trends, with a net promoter score of 31 in banking and 23 in asset management.
“The Commercial and Retail Banking Group grew its profit by 20 per cent driven by improved performance in our consumer finance business, as we continue to expand our digital products offerings and channels. Commercial and Retail Banking remains the largest contributor to the Group’s profits with 92 per cent. Assets managed by our Asset and Wealth Management businesses increased by over 28 per cent to over N403 billion at the end of the year.”
He assured that 2020 will see a number of the financial institution’s digital initiatives coming of age, adding that these are expected to be substantial.
Going by the results, FCMB Group’s gross revenue in 2019 increased to N188 billion compared to N177.2billion in 2018. The strong performance also manifested in profit before tax, which rose by 9% to N20.1 billion. The financial results also showed that net interest income increased by 5% Year-on-Year (YoY) to N76 billion for the twelve months of 2019 from N72.6 billion within the same period in 2018. In demonstration of enhanced customers confidence in FCMB, deposits grew to N943.1 billion in December 2019, as against N863.4 billion in September 2019. Loans and advances disbursed by the Group as at the end of December 2019 stood at N715.9 billion, representing a rise of 12% (Quarter-on-Quarter, QoQ), compared to N638.1 billion in September 2019.
Total assets of the Group went up by 10 per cent QoQ to N1.67 trillion in December 2019 from N1.52 trillion in September 2019, just as capital adequacy ratio remained steady at 17.2 per cent, for the Commercial and Retail Banking Group. Post-tax profit increased by 16 per cent to N17.3 billion, this translates to a return on average equity (RoAE) of nine per cent and earnings per share of 87 kobo, an improvement on 8.2 per cent and 75 kobo, respectively, in 2018.
Commending the bank, a former Co-ordinator of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunny Nwosu, praised the institution for efficiently running its affairs and the appreciable growth recorded in key operating areas.
According to him, ‘’the fact that FCMB was able to hold the AGM, and a successful one for that matter, is a welcome development. It shows that the organisation is well prepared and very concerned about the interest of shareholders.”