Shareholders, board laud performance
By Nsikan Ikpe
Fresh details have emerged as to how the First City Monument Bank, FCMB Group has been weathering the yet subsisting recession storm in Nigeria.
In his address at the just concluded Annual General Meeting, AGM of the bank, the Chairman of FCMB Group, Dr. Jonathan Long, represented by a Director, Mr Bismarck Rewane, attributed the performance recorded last year to the professionalism and commitment the financial institution brought to bear in its business and operations. He added that, ‘’the Group has shown itself, capable of weathering the storm and I am confident that the year ahead will prove to be no exception’’.
Corroborating this view, shareholders of FCMB Group Plc have applauded the financial institution for its resilience, dynamism and the enhanced performance recorded last year despite the challenging operating environment. The shareholders, who gave the commendation at the 4th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Group in Lagos on April 28, 2017, also unanimously approved the payment of a cash dividend of 10 kobo per ordinary share, which translates to N1.98 billion, for the year ended December 31, 2016.
FCMB Group is the holding company of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited, FCMB Capital Markets Limited, CSL Stockbrokers Limited and CSL Trustees Limited. The audited accounts of the Group for last year showed a profit before tax (PBT) of N16.3 billion, an increase of 109% compared to the N7.8 billion for the same period in 2015. Profit after tax also rose to N14.3 billion as against N4.8 billion prior year. Gross revenue as at the end of December 2016 was up by 16% to N176.35 billion from N152.51 billion in the previous year.
Commenting on these developments at the AGM, the Coordinator of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunny Nwosu, saluted the Board and Management of FCMB Group Plc, including those of its respective subsidiaries, for efficiently running its affairs and the appreciable growth recorded in key operating areas. He stated that, ‘’the overall performance has been very good despite the recession the economy went through during the year under review’’. He added that the ‘’impressive rise in profitability and dividend payment are clear signs that FCMB is resilient, on a stronger footing to overcome the difficult business environment and continually meet the expectations of shareholders and other stakeholders. Overall, we are satisfied with the performance’’.
In the same vein, the National Chairman of Shareholders’ Trustees Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Mukhtar Mukhtar, said, ‘’we are happy that FCMB has again risen to the occasion by delivering value to shareholders, while also showing a strong ability to adapt effectively and professionally to the dynamics of the business environment. We strongly believe that FCMB will continue to do perform better’’.
Also speaking, Mr. Ladi Balogun, the Group Chief Executive of FCMB Group Plc and until recently the Group Managing Director of First City Monument Bank Limited, said that the realities of 2016 have been a good test of the resilience of the Bank’s turnaround programme commenced in 2015, adding that, ‘’across most indices, we have recorded progress and we intend to stay this course in the coming year’’.
These include a stronger balance sheet, accelerated market share in retail banking, enhanced customer experience as a means of growing customer base, alternate channels penetration, support to businesses, containment of operating expense, among others.
For instance, the net revenue position of that First City Monument Bank Limited, which is the flagship of FCMB Group, rose by 33% to N112.6 billion as at December 31, 2016 from N84.9 billion, while its loan book grew by 11% in nominal terms to N659 billion. In addition, the Bank rolled out an additional 108 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) across different locations to increase the tally to 755 and on-boarded 370,000 new customers on the mobile banking platform. He added that the Bank’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) segment also returned to profitability, just as personal banking business also witnessed an impressive performance with an increase in customers acquisition from 43,000 monthly in 2015 to 53,000 monthly in 2016.
On the future outlook for the Bank, Mr. Balogun, informed that, ‘’we have built a solid business model around retail and transaction banking to deliver sustainable profit growth, effective use of technology to boost efficiency, reduced risk appetite and a great customer experience. Lending activities will be focused and strategic, with emphasis on diversification of our portfolio. We will also improve employee productivity, while growing the proportion of customers that use our digital channels’’.
Analysts are of the opinion that with FCMB Group Plc’s focus on effective portfolio optimisation, increased momentum in retail banking, digital channels coupled with its culture of excellence in products and service delivery, the Group and its subsidiaries are well positioned to improve on their remarkable performance and value addition to stakeholders.
Ladi Balogun, Group Chief Executive, FCMB