The management of First Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc has once again given its commitment to ensuring returns to its shareholders, just as it declared N5.4 billion dividend.
At the Annual General Meeting of the company on Thursday in Lagos, shareholders approved the N5.4 billion dividend translating to 15 kobo per ordinary shares to be paid on Monday, 30 May, 2016.
According to the Group Managing Director, UK Eke, the 2015 financial results reinforced the strength of the underlying business, as well as highlight significant vulnerability in “our business, especially around cost management. And loan book efficiency.
“Consequently, we have taken a hard look at our operating model and have begun to take bold steps in changing the way we do business to meet the evolving reality, armed with valuable insights and lessons learnt from the challenges we faced in the last couple of years.”
He, however, noted that the company would intensify its portfolio review for the purpose of effectively deploying capital, recovering impairment, and enhance risk management process to enhance returns to shareholders.
On his part, Group Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria Holdings, Oba Otudeko, said “despite the arduous environment that 2014 presented, the management team and employees worked under intense pressure to deal with a number of complex business issues”. He noted that the board made some major leadership changes within the institution with the appointment of new CEOs at both the Holding Company and the Commercial Banking group.
On the revenue synergies, he explained that despite the economic performance, the group realised an additional N2.3 billion from revenue synergies through collaboration among the various strategic business units and cross-selling.
Otudeko, however, remained optimistic that in 2016, the board will achieve its growth aspirations by a sustained sharp focus on strategic priorities, adding that operating efficiency would remain at the heart of decisions made, to ensure that our disciplined growth meets the strictest hurdles of shareholder returns.
For the year ended December 31, 2015, FBN Holdings Plc made Profit Before Tax of N21.5 billion, a 77.1 percent decline from the N94.1 billion of year 2014, attributed to the high impairment charges taken in financial year 2015.
However, Operating Expenses declined by 9.6 per cent at N223.6 billion in 2015 against N236.8 billion of 2014, which when compared to a 9.6 per cent inflation environment, according to the company, was an achievement that highlights resolves to ensure “sustainable operational efficiency across our business.”
Further analysis of the financial report showed that the Group’s gross earnings went up by 4.9 percent to N505.2 billion in 2015 financial year as against N481.8 billion of the previous year.