Shareholders of FBN Holdings Plc have charged its Board of Directors to quickly recover debts owed the company’s subsidiary bank, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, which led to a credit losses of N226 billion.
Nevertheless, the shareholders at the 5th Annual General Meeting, AGM, held in Lagos at the weekend, commended the Board for declaring a 20 kobo per share dividend for the financial year ended December 31, 2016, despite the tough operating environment.
The shareholders declared that if not for the impairment, the profit declared for the year under review would have been much higher, even as they appreciated the cost curtailment initiatives taken by Management of the company, which led to a decline in cost-to-income ratio to 47 per cent in 2016 from 61.3 per cent in 2015.
The shareholders at the AGM unanimously endorsed all proposals by the Board, including the audited accounts for the 2016 financial year.
Addressing shareholders, Chairman of FBN Holdings Plc, Dr. Oba Otudeko commended the shareholders for their useful contributions and advices at the meeting.
According to him, “You all know how tough the operating environment was during the year under review. Despite our prevailing challenges, our preparedness and unflinching commitment of our staff enabled us to achieve most of the set targets in our strategic plan as we made giant strides across specific boniness units.”
On performance review, he said “Notwithstanding the challenges that confronted Group in 2016, we posted a 15.7 per cent Year on Year, YoY increase in our gross earnings, closing the year at N582 billion. The significant earnings growth reinforces the inherent strength and resilience of the FBN Holdings Group despite the recessionary environment. Our profit before tax only rose by N1.3 billion in 2016 to N22.9 billion from N21.6 billion in 2015; Net interest income up by 6.3 per cent to N165.5 billion from N97.9 billion; Customers deposits up by 4,5 per cent to N3, 104 .2 billion from N2, 970.9 billion in 2015.
Looking forward, Otudeko said “While, we acknowledge the fact that we do not have control over most of these developments in the economy, we believe that 2017 is an important year for us to overcome challenges and leap onto the path of sustainable growth.”