By Ayobami Adedini
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.
Speaking, the President of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sunny Nwosu, commended the Board and Management of FCMB Group Plc, for efficiently running its affairs and the appreciable growth recorded in key operating areas.
In his words, ‘the overall performance has been very good despite the recession the economy went through during the year under review. 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,” he said.
In the same vein, the National Chairman of Shareholders’ Trustees Association of Nigeria, 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 perform better’’.
In his remarks, Mr. Ladi Balogun, the Group Chief Executive of FCMB Group Plc said the realities of 2016 have been a good test of the resilience of the Bank’s turnaround programme begun in 2015
According to him, the net revenue position of 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, Balogun stated 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’’, he added.