Five banks declare N37.15bn interim dividend in H1 2020

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By Kayode Tokede

Amid COVID-19 pandemic, five banks have declared interim dividend of N37.15billion in their audited financial statement for half year ended June 30, 2020.

Our correspondent gathered that banks operating in the country maintained interim dividend paid to shareholders in prior half year ended June 2019.

The five banks are Access Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank), Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, United Bank for Africa (UBA), and Zenith Bank Plc.

The five banks in H1 2019 declared a total dividend of N44.48billion.

Nigerian NewsDirect gathered that the five banks generated a total N348 billion profit after tax in H1 2020 as against N342.87billion reported in H1 2019.

Interim dividend breakdown revealed that Stanbic IBTC Holdings with 24.7 per cent increase in profit to N45.2billion in H1 2020 is expected to pay shareholders N10.5billion interim dividend on September 30, 2020.

Zenith Bank, the most profitable bank in Nigeria with N103.8billion in H1 2020 as against N88.88billion reported in H1 2019, proposed dividends of N9.4 billion in H1 2020 for the second consecutive years.

Further findings revealed also that GTBank, the second most profitable bank in Nigeria declared N8.83 billion interim dividend for the second consecutive years amid reporting a decline of five per cent in profit to N94.27 billion in H1 2020.

The Chief Executive Officer of GTBank, Mr. Segun Agbaje, in a statement said, “These are undoubtedly tough and trying times for people, businesses and economies the world over.

“Our financial performance in the first half of the year reflects the quality of our past decisions which have broadened our earnings and strategically positioned us to thrive, thus far, through the current global health and economic crises.

“Underpinning this financial performance is our commitment to being there for our customers and the communities we serve, and over the past six months we have lent the full weight of our franchise to safeguarding lives and livelihoods of our staff and customers by leading from the front in the fight to curtail the COVID-19 outbreak and offering grace periods on loans to our small business customers.”

He further stated that “Going forward, our focus is not just to survive this pandemic, but to thrive beyond it. That is why we are going ahead with our plans to reimagine how we create value for all our stakeholders. We know that making financial services work for customers goes beyond banking, and in line with our long-term strategy, we will seek to create and drive innovative financial solutions that go beyond banking.”

GTBank in a statement to shareholders said, “An interim dividend in the sum of 30kobo per ordinary share of 50kobo subject to the deduction of appropriate withholding tax, will be paid to shareholders whose names appear in the register of members as at the close of business on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 for ordinary shareholders and on September 3, 2020, for holders of the Bank’s Global Depository Reception (GDR).”

With about 1.4 per cent decline in profit to N61billion in H1 2020, Access bank proposed dividend of N8.88billion for the second consecutive years.

Interestedly, UBA amid 21 per cent decline in profit to N44.43billion, proposed interim dividend of N5.8billion in the period under review compared to N6.8billion proposed interim dividend in prior half year results.

The Board of Directors of UBA declared an interim dividend of N0.17 per share for every ordinary share of N0.50 each held by its shareholders in H1 2020 from N0.20 proposed in H1 2019.

UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka said had said “Our 2020H1 results is yet another demonstration of the resilience of our business model in an extremely uncertain and tough operating environment.

“We recorded commendable growth in our underlying business in terms of customer acquisition, transaction volumes and balance sheet whilst inflation, depressed yield environment and exchange rate volatilities impacted our net earnings as anticipated.”