Nigeria’s leading financial services group, FBN Holdings Plc, on Monday, 27 April 2020, in Lagos reiterating its promise to place shareholder value at the forefront of its operations.
In a statement after holding its Annual General Meeting (AGM), the group said it is now positioned to remain relevant in the future while continuing to be involved in the economic development of Nigeria and its host countries across Africa.
Addressing shareholders at the meeting, chairman of FBN Holdings Plc, Oba Otudeko, said the group deepened its efforts to realise revenue in 2019, resulting in a 42% increase in synergy revenue, highlighting the enhanced ability to address customer needs through its thriving subsidiaries.
“Directors and management of FBN Holdings will ensure that all our operating entities have sufficient resources (financial and non-financial) to grow their businesses, deepen market penetration and enhance overall shareholder value,” he assured.
Otudeko noted that “the year 2020 marks the beginning of another three-year strategic planning cycle for the group and we have extensively engaged internally and mapped our course of action over the next three years.
“In line with current and future trends, we have realigned our vision and strategic priorities across our operating entities. Furthermore, we have identified synergistic opportunities and key services that can be leveraged to further drive efficiency and overall productivity across the Group,” Otudeko said.
In his review of the performance, Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of FBN Holdings Plc, Urum Kalu Eke said central to its strategy is the three-pronged focus of the group aimed at restoring shareholders’ value over the last three years. This, he added, enhanced the group’s revenue profile in the context of diversification across multiple streams, markets, and sectors.
“These primary focus areas are in addition to the long-term strategy of the Group, which is ultimately geared towards ensuring that FBN Holdings becomes one of the foremost financial services institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa. I am pleased to report that we have made material progress on all three fronts (albeit at different levels of success). The 2019 financial results reinforce our optimism in enhancing value for shareholders,” he said.
According to him, the 2019 financial results have been a good reflection of our strategy and the directional ratios are consistent with the future we seek to create for the institution.
Commenting on the performance, the GMD said “the Group’s profit before tax of N83.6bn, a 30.9% growth over the prior year at N63.9bn, other key metrics such as return on equity, loans, and advances, deposits, shareholders’ equity improved during the year at varying rates. Return on equity improved by 270 basis points closing the year at 12.4% from 9.7%.
“Total assets grew by 11.4% from N5.6tr to N6.2tr over the last one year. Total deposit and shareholders’ equity grew 15.3% and 25%, closing the year at N4tr and N661.1bn respectively,”
He assured shareholders that the strategy to reposition the group is gathering momentum and the key pain points, including the challenging delinquent loan portfolio, have been effectively addressed, except for the need to intensify efforts at reducing our cost to serve.
“Now that we are on course for a normalised NPL (Non-Performing Loans) territory in 2020 and with our leadership position in electronic channels, the Group is positioned to take advantage of the evolving opportunities in the market for the benefit of our esteemed shareholders,” Eke stated.
Meanwhile, shareholders commended the board and management for steering the ship of the company to higher profitability, expressing satisfaction with the financial statement, following which they approved the 38 kobo dividend per share proposed by the board.
Chief Sunny Nwosu, National Coordinator Emeritus of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, for example, praised the group for the dividends, even as he expressed hope for juicier payout “in the future because we believe we have in place management with good thinking. So, we are expectant of good products.”
Also speaking, Adebayo Adeleke, another shareholder, described the result as another outstanding performance that has helped shareholders enjoy an improved dividend of 38 kobo per share this year.
Matthew Akinlade, another shareholder, appreciated the commitment of the board, management, and staff “to the progress of the group.”