The Ecobank Transnational Incorporation (ETI), the parent company of the Ecobank Group, has paid out a total dividend of 40 million dollars to shareholders.
The Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Executive Director of ETI, Ade Ayeyemi, made the disclosure during a hybrid event of ETI’s 34th Annual General Meeting, held on Wednesday in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
The AGM had as its theme, “One Market. Endless Opportunities.”
The payment is coming after over five years of non-dividend payment.
According to Ayeyemi, improvements recorded in the bank’s ‘Roadmap to Leadership’ strategy adopted in 2016, are instrumental to achieving the dividends payments.
He said that adopting the strategy helped the bank to clarify portfolios across businesses and maximise value of portfolios, which culminated in a cash dividend of 0.16 US cents ($0.0016) per share to shareholders.
Ayeyemi affirmed that the strategy was focused at redefining business segments and building a stronger and more profitable financial institution.
“The group’s profit for the year 2021 was 357 million dollars compared to 88 million dollars in 2020.
“Although the latter was adversely affected by a goodwill impairment charge of 164 million dollars while net revenues increased by 4.6 per cent to 1,757 million dollars.”
He said the bank made meaningful progress across business segments, noting that its gross trade loans increased by 39 per cent to 2.9 billion dollars, driven mainly by commodity financing.
“We transitioned to our ‘Executive Momentum’ strategy while continuing to harvest the expected results from our previous strategy.
“We have become more efficient, addressed legacy loan problems, strengthened capital and digitised our operations for the future.”
Ayeyemi assured shareholders that the bank would continue to defend its competitive position, explore growth opportunities, revisit operational strategy in high potential markets and consider constructive exit from low potential markets.
He added that the bank’s first quarter results for 2022 provided a clear confirmation of Ecobank Group’s continuing strong and sustained performance trajectory.
Ayeyemi said this had reinforced the bank’s reliability and capacity to successfully deliver on its Africa-focused purpose and support for the continent’s economes, regardless of the prevailing challenges.
Also, the Chairman of Ecobank Group, Alain Nkontchou, said the bank had introduced innovative technology that included the virtualisation of its regional processing centres and the automation of a digital MY-HR information system which automates HR processes with enhanced self-service features.
According to him, these programmes are maximising operational efficiency and transforming its businesses for sustainable long term growth.
“The year 2021 was a transformational year for the group, and the board is pleased to be rewarding shareholders with a dividend for the first time since 2016.
“Our results show that we are maximising operational efficiencies and successfully transforming our business for sustainable long-term growth.
“As we continue to deliver on our strategic imperatives, we are firmly positioned as the ideal partner for households and businesses to grow and succeed.
“Also to foster Africa’s economic development, while continuing to grow our revenues and value,” he said.
Shareholders applauded the group’s impressive strong performance in 2021, which was achieved despite the challenging environment.