Executive Chairman of Diamond Bank Plc, Mr. Pascal Dozie, will relinquish his chief executive position at the end of this year, the 14-year-old financial institution has confirmed.
His exit would however be heralded with improved performance of the bank, which recorded a profit of N2.526 billion for the year 2005, against N833.5 million it posted in 2004.
These disclosures were made in the bank\'s yearly report and accounts for 2005.
In the words of Dozie, \"I am delighted to inform you (shareholders) that the appointment of a managing director, among this team, marks the beginning of the succession plan for the chairman/CEO position. In this regard, I would like to formally announce my decision to retire as the chief executive officer of the bank at the end of 2005.\"
He equally announced that \"from 2006, Mr. Emeka Onwuka will assume the office of the managing director and chief executive of the bank.\"
Dozie, it would be noted, has been piloting the affairs of the bank for the past 14 years.
The shareholders, who received the information with mixed feelings, were however elated that the bank posted a profit before taxation of N3.5 billion, as against the N1.16 million recorded the previous financial year.
Also, the bank\'s net operating income hit N12.2 billion in 2005, compared with N7.4 billion in year 2004.
Besides, the Diamond Group profit after taxation (PAT) stood at N2.509 billion in 2005 as against N903.4 million recorded in 2004.
The group\'s profit before taxation (PBT) on the other hand was N3.514 billion in 2005 as opposed to N1.264 billion in 2004, while its net-operating income moved to N12.7 billion during the year under review from N7.790 billion in 2004.
Speaking on the performance of the bank, Dozie remarked that the gain recorded represents, \"the highest absolute profit performance of the bank in its 14 years of existence.\"
The increase in liquid earning assets due to funds inflow from the bank\'s private placement, he noted, also contributed in this regard, especially in the second half of the year.
Also, he explained that the lower percentage increases in the gross earnings of the bank and the group, to N15.223 billion and N15.950 billion respectively, relative to the big leaps in PBT and PAT, \"is a clear reflection of the improvement in the efficiency of our operations in terms of funds utilisation.\"
The bank\'s balance sheet also grew significantly as total assets rose by 82 per cent to N125.674 billion in 2005 from N69.061 billion in 2004.
The impetus for the rise in assets, he explained, came mainly from increases in deposits by 73 per cent to N75.166 billion and shareholders\' funds by 207 per cent to N20.710 billion, noting that the increase in the latter is due mainly to the proceeds from the bank\'s private placement exercise.
It is of note, that the bank is currently in the capital market sourcing for over N6 billion through initial public offer.