Shareholders of First City Monument Bank, FCMB, Group Plc have commended the Board, Management and Staff of the financial institution for recording another impressive performance in 2018 in spite of the challenging macro-economic and regulatory environment.
The commendation was given at the 6th Annual General Meeting, AGM, of the Group held on April 26, 2019 in Lagos.
At the meeting, the shareholders approved the financial results of FCMB Group and payment of a cash dividend of 14 kobo 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 , PBT, rose by 73 per cent 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 per cent compared to the N169.9 billion for the same period in 2017.
Net interest income as at the end of 2018 rose by three per cent Year-on-Year, YoY, to N72.6 billion.
In demonstration of the enhanced confidence of customers in FCMB, deposits also increased by 19 per cent YoY to N821.7 billion while loans and advances stood at N633 billion.
Total assets went up by 21 per cent YoY to N1.43 trillion, just as capital adequacy ratio was 15.9 per cent.
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 14 kobo 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 adoption 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 per cent, 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 per cent of profit.
“Our banking franchise continued to grow as reflected by a 20 per cent rise in deposits and our customer base also grew by 20 per cent 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 per cent in 2018.
“This performance was driven by higher conversion of our investment banking deal pipeline as well as cost efficiencies. Our stock-broking 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 per cent increase).
“In spite of the reduction in fees charged by pension fund administrators by the primary regulator, our asset management businesses increased pre-tax profits by 15 per cent.
“We acquired additional shares in FCMB Pensions Limited (formerly Legacy Pensions Limited) to increase our stake from 88.2 per cent to 91.6 per cent 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.