Friday, May 03, 2019 / 07.05PM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for Proshare WebTV
FBN Holdings Plc today hosted its 7th Annual General Meeting in Lagos, where shareholders commended the board and management for an improved FY 2018 result.
In his opening statement Dr Oba Otudeko, Chairman of FBN Holdings, noted that, “In 2018, the increased group-wide collaboration resulted in a remarkable achievement of N20bn in synergy revenues, representing three-year revenue synergy targets for the group between 2017 and 2019”.
The report of the External Auditors, Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC), observed that “FBN Holdings kept proper books of account for its 2018 FY and the statement of financial position and that of profit or loss and other comprehensive income were in agreement with the books of account”.
The Chairman of the Statutory Audit Committee of the Group, Mr Ismail Adamu, pointed out that, “The accounting and reporting policies of the Holdco conformed with the statutory requirements and agreed ethical practices”.
Shareholder Association leaders Sunny Nwosu, Patrick Ajudua, Lawrence Ibitoye and Umar Farouk in their various remarks commended Holdco for paying 26k dividend amidst a challenging 2018 macro-economic environment.
Mr Nona Awoh a capital market stakeholder and shareholder decried the high regulatory costs that banking groups like FBN Holdings, were experiencing. He was of the view that it was having adverse effects on the revenue line and opportunity of financial institutions to pay dividends.
The shareholders tasked FBN Holdings to sustain the strategy of addressing its non-performing loan ratio, which had steadily fallen over the last three years.
They also emphasised the need for management to take effective steps in managing risk and reinforcing best-in-class corporate governance standards, to ensure that the momentum of resolving legacy loan issues are sustained.
Responding to shareholders the MD/CEO of First Bank Nigeria Dr Adesola Adeduntan assured that in the area of NPLs, the recovery efforts on all provisional accounts is in progress and recovery will be done.
Adeduntan also cited vintage NPL issues being tackled by the Holdco and is currently committed to maintaining financial discipline and working towards resolving legacy NPL-related issues.
He also said that other areas First Bank will continue to drive include Agency banking, Digital banking and aligning the bank’s accounting system with IFRS 9 rules to ensure that its loan book grows moderately at 5%.
Also giving his remarks the GMD of Holdco, Mr U.K Eke, MFR, commended shareholders for their support and stated that the financial institution was in a stronger position at the end of FY 2018, compared to FY 2017.
Mr Eke reminded the shareholders that three years ago, the Holdco was dealing with issues of capital, which it pledged not to task the shareholders with and had successfully built capital buffers, with the commercial banks being well capitalized.
Considering the issues of Non-performing loans, the GMD said the Holdco is targeting a single digit NPL ratio at the end of FY 2019.
Shareholders approved a 26k per share dividend pay-out which resulted in a total dividend payment of N9.33bn for FY 2018.
Analysis of the Holdco’s financials, showed that the group achieved a +19.7% increase in Profit-Before-Tax with PBT rising from N54.5bn in FY 2017 to N65.3bn in FY 2018.
It also recorded a +10.9% increase in customer deposits which saw deposits rise from N3.1trn in FY 2017 to N3.4trn in FY 2018. Non-Interest income grew by +15.8% from N113.7bn in FY 2017 to N131.7bn in FY 2018.
FBN Holdings Plc also recorded a +43.5% growth in earnings per share from N1.15 in FY 2017 to N1.65 in FY 2018.
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