By Dipo Olowookere
The Group Chief Executive Officer of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Mr Ladi Balogun, has assured shareholders of the company a sustainable growth. This assurance was given during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of FCMB held in Lagos, where shareholders approved the 2018 financial results and payment of a cash dividend of 14 kobo per ordinary share, totaling N2.8 billion.
Mr Balogun, while addressing the shareholders, outlined that the commercial and retail banking group, which includes First City Monument Bank Limited, Credit Direct Limited, FCMB (UK) Limited and FCMB Microfinance Bank Limited, grew its profit by 61 percent, driven by improved performance in consumer finance business and increase in fees and commissions.
He added that commercial and retail banking remains the largest group, contributing 83 percent of profit while the group’s banking franchise continued to grow as reflected by a 20 percent increase each in deposits and customer base, which rose to 4.9 million customers.
He pointed out that the pre-tax profit of investment banking group, which includes FCMB Capital Markets Limited and CSL Stockbrokers Limited, increased by 24 percent in 2018, a performance driven by higher conversion of investment banking deal pipeline as well as cost efficiencies.
He said the asset and wealth management franchise, which includes FCMB Pensions Limited, First City Asset Management Limited and CSL Trustees Limited, increased combined assets under management to over N310 billion, an increase of 24 percent.
According to him, in spite of the reduction in fees charged by pension fund administrators by the primary regulator, asset management businesses increased pre-tax profits by 15 percent while the group also acquired additional shares in FCMB Pensions Limited to increase its stake from 88.2 percent to 91.6 percent in 2018.
He assured shareholders and other stakeholder that 2019 would see continued growth along all key indices for the Group, especially those around profitability, deposits, customer numbers and assets under management.
Chairman of FCMB, Mr Oladipupo Jadesimi, in his address, said the group has continued to move forward on the path of good governance, strengthening and improving its corporate governance structure and bringing it into line with its long-term strategy and the highest international standards.
He said the group has taken initiatives to increase the confidence of its shareholders, investors and other stakeholders in an environment that is demanding even more transparency.
‘’The board of directors, fully engaged and committed to the group’s corporate culture and strategy, has the experience, knowledge, dedication and diversity needed to accomplish our objective of making FCMB one of the leading financial services groups of African origin, helping people and businesses prosper and upholding our adopted of execution, professionalism, innovation and customer focus,’’ Mr p ppJadesimi said.
At the meeting, shareholders of the company commended the board for the impressive performance in the 2018 financial year, urging them to do more so as to result to more dividend payout.
Chairman, Trusted Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr Mukhtar Mukhtar, said the increased dividend payment was a delight to shareholders given the low economic activities in the country.
“I am highly impressed with the group’s balance sheet quality which witnessed a high growth. This shows vigorous policies that have positively impacted on and optimised the balance sheet.
“Another significant aspect of the performance of FCMB is the growing contributions of the subsidiaries in the profit margin. The 14 kobo dividend declaration signals FCMB’s commitment to improving the lots of shareholders,’’
Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN) Chairman, Mr Boniface Okezie, said FCMB and its subsidiaries have done very well in terms of dividend payment and the overall performance.
According to him, the loans portfolio of the bank is also encouraging while the fact that it has been able to increase its branch network is an indication that it is expanding.
“I believe that FCMB will build on this performance,’’ Mr Okezie said.
Key extracts of the audited report and accounts of FCMB Group for the year ended December 31, 2018 showed that profit before tax rose by 73 percent to N18.4 billion in 2018 as against N11.5 billion in 2017.
Also, gross revenue grew to N177.4 billion, an increase of 4.3 percent compared with N169.9 billion in 2017. Net interest income rose by three percent to N72.6 billion while deposits also increased by 19 per cent to N821.7 billion. Loans and advances stood at N633 billion while total assets grew by 21 percent to N1.43 trillion. Capital adequacy ratio stood at 15.9 percent.
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