Prestige Assurance to pay N87m dividend


April 23, 2006/punch





Directors of Prestige Assurance Plc have recommended a dividend of N87.9million for the year ended December 31, 2005, showing an increase of 58 per cent above the N55.9million paid in 2004.

According to the audited financial statements made available to our correspondent on Friday, the company posted gross premium of N1.3billion in 2004, up by 43 per cent from the N903million recorded in 2004.

Profit before tax rose by 36 per cent from N312million to N424million, while profit after tax grew by 41 per cent from N202million to N284million. The directors, therefore, recommended that shareholders should share N87million as dividend, which amounts to 12kobo per share as against 11.46kobo paid in 2004.

The insurance firm retained N112million in the business, up from N104million retained in the 2004.

While shareholders of Prestige Assurance await the date they will receive the dividend, those of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc will start receiving their dividend and bonus issue as from May 24, 2006.The bank had on Tuesday announced a final dividend of 70kobo and a bonus on new share for every three already held for its financial year ended February 28, 2006. Directors of the bank had in November approved an interim dividend of 25kobo, bringing the total dividend to 95kobo.

Our correspondent gathered that the dividend warrants would be posted to the various shareholders on May 24, whose names appeared on the bank’s register as at May 2, 2006.

GTBank posted gross earnings of N33.614billion in 2006, up by 32 per cent from N25.438billion in 2005. Profit before tax rose by N3.231billion or 45 per cent from N7.257billion in 2005 to N10.488billion in 2006, while profit after tax and extra-ordinary items rose by N3.157billion from N5.433 billion to N8.590billion.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Friday delisted Chartered Bank Plc and Regent Bank Plc from its official list following their merger with Investment Banking & Trust Company Plc. Two banks consolidated with IBTC to form the new IBTC Chartered Bank Plc.

Following the conclusion of the merger, a total of 6.186billion shares were added to the shares outstanding in the name of IBTC Chartered Bank Plc.

This apparently impacted on NSE market capitalisation that closed at N2.62trillion on Friday as against N2.58trillion the preceding week. The NSE Index also rose by 0.24 per cent to close at 23, 276.46 while investors staked a total of N6.9billion on 566.5million shares in 18,285 deals last week.

This shows an increase of 77 per cent above the N3.9billion invested in 306.6million in 14,251 deals in the preceding week.

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