Shareholders of Stanbic IBTC attending the sixth annual general meeting of the company have called for higher returns in the 2018 financial year even as they unanimously endorsed the dividend payment of N5.02 billion for the 2017 financial year.
Along with an earlier interim dividend payment, total dividend per share came to N1.10, amounting to N11.05 billion for the 2017 financial year.
Patrick Ajudua, a shareholder, commended the board and management for steering the ship of the bank in a positive direction, adding that the dividend declared was commendable. He 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, equally lauded the management for the impressive performance and efficient running of the company, amidst the harsh economic environment.
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, said the dividend policy was as a result of the investment made in 2017 financial year.
Sanni said the company increased its stake in one of the subsidiaries from 70 percent to 88 percent.
According to him, the company financed the investment from internal resources, and that the investment would translate to higher dividends in the years ahead.
Sanni explained that the company had the option of paying the money as dividend to shareholders but chose to make the investment because it 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.
Sanni said: “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 percent to N1.39 trillion and this was funded mainly by customers’ deposit growth of 34 percent.”
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.
Sanni said the company received several accolades during the 2017 financial year.
Chairman Basil Omiyi said the bank’s gross earnings increased from N156.4 billion in 2016 to N212.4 billion in 2017, representing a 36 percent growth.
Omiyi said its profit after tax stood at N48.4 billion, representing a growth of 70 percent over N28.5 billion recorded in 2016.
He added that profit before tax grew by 64 percent 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 percent 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 percent from N561.0 billion in 2016 to N753.6 billion in 2017.
Gross loans and advances also rose by eight percent 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 percent minimum regulatory requirement.