Shareholders applaud FCMB over Improved Financial Performance
By Nsikan Ikpe
Shareholders of FCMB Group Plc have commended the Board, Management and Staff of the financial institution for recording another impressive performance in 2018 in spite the challenging macroeconomic and regulatory environment. Speaking in Lagos, at the 6th Annual General Meeting of the company, the management also expressed hope for a brighter future for the company.
The shareholders equally approved the financial results of FCMB Group and payment of a cash dividend of 14kobo per ordinary share for the year ended December 31, 2018. This translates to a total amount of N2.77 billion.
Going by its audited accounts for last year, FCMB Group’s profit before tax (PBT) rose by 73% to N18.4 billion as against N11.5 billion in the preceding year. Gross revenue grew to N177.4 billion, an increase of 4.3% compared to the N169.9 billion for the same period in 2017. Net interest income as at the end of 2018 rose by 3% Year-on-Year (YoY) to N72.6 billion. In demonstration of the enhanced confidence of customers in FCMB, deposits also increased by 19% YoY to N821.7 billion while loans and advances stood at N633 billion. Total assets went up by 21% YoY to N1.43 trillion, just as capital adequacy ratio was 15.9%.
Commenting on the development and the financial results of the Group, the Chairman of Trusted Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Mukhtar Mukhtar, expressed delight on the increased dividend payment. According to him, ‘’This is an excellent result achieved by FCMB Group in a period of low economic activities in the country. I am highly impressed with the Group’s balance sheet quality which witnessed a high growth. This shows vigorous policies that have positively impacted on and optimised the balance sheet. Another significant aspect of the performance of FCMB is the growing contributions of the subsidiaries in the profit margin. The 14kobo dividend declaration signals FCMB’s commitment to improving the lots of shareholders’’.
On his part, the National Chairman of Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr. Boniface Okezie, said, ‘’FCMB and its subsidiaries have done very well in terms of dividend payment and the overall performance, including the loans portfolio which is also encouraging. The fact the Bank has been able to increase its branch network is an indication that it is expanding. I believe that FCMB will build on this performance’’.
Presenting his report, the Chairman of FCMB Group, Mr. Oladipupo Jadesimi, said, ‘’In 2018, we continued to move forward on the path of good governance, strengthening and improving our corporate governance structure and bringing it into line with our long-term strategy and the highest international standards. This was in order to increase the confidence of our shareholders, investors and other stakeholders in an environment that is demanding even more transparency’’. He added that, ‘’the Board of Directors, fully engaged and committed to the Group’s corporate culture and strategy, has the experience, knowledge, dedication and diversity needed to accomplish our objective of making FCMB one of the leading financial services groups of African origin, helping people and businesses prosper and upholding our adopted of execution, professionalism, innovation and customer focus’’.
Also speaking at the AGM, the Group Chief Executive of FCMB Group Plc, Mr. Ladi Balogun, said, ‘’the Commercial and Retail Banking Group (which includes First City Monument Bank Limited, Credit Direct Limited, FCMB (UK) Limited and FCMB Microfinance Bank Limited) grew its profit by 61%, driven by improved performance in our consumer finance business and increase in fees and commissions. Commercial and Retail Banking remain our largest group, contributing 83% of profit. Our banking franchise continued to grow as reflected by a 20% rise in deposits and our customer base also grew by 20% to 4.9 million customers’’.
Mr. Balogun also reported that, ‘’the pre-tax profit of our Investment Banking Group (FCMB Capital Markets Limited and CSL Stockbrokers Limited) increased by 24% in 2018. This performance was driven by higher conversion of our investment banking deal pipeline as well as cost efficiencies. Our stockbroking business maintained its position as a top-three player in its sector’’.
The Group Chief Executive informed shareholders, ‘’Our Asset & Wealth Management franchise (FCMB Pensions Limited, First City Asset Management Limited and CSL Trustees Limited) increased combined assets under management to over N310 billion (24% increase). In spite the reduction in fees charged by pension fund administrators by the primary regulator, our asset management businesses increased pre-tax profits by 15%. We acquired additional shares in FCMB Pensions Limited (formerly Legacy Pensions Limited) to increase our stake from 88.2% to 91.6% in 2018’’.
He assured shareholders and other stakeholder that 2019 would see continued growth along all key indices for the Group, especially those around profitability, deposits, customer numbers and assets under management.