Shareholders of FBN Holdings Plc on Tuesday approved a dividend of N5.38 billion proposed by the board for the year ended December 31, 2015. The dividend, which translates to 15 kobo per share, was paid despite a major fall in the profit of the bank.
The company posted a profit after tax of N 15.1 billion in 2015, down from N84 billion in 2014 due to N119 billion impairment charges.
The shareholders, who spoke at the annual general meeting (AGM) in Lagos, commended the payment of dividend.
For instance, the National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sunny Nwosu said they were not expecting any dividend from the company because of impairments.
Speaking in the same vein, President, Association for the Advancement of the Rights of Nigerian Shareholders, Dr. Farouk Umar commended the company for its performance in spite of stringent regulatory policies and unfriendly operating environment.
“Even in times of difficult, we are in good hands, paying dividend in spite of challenges witnessed in 2015,” Umar stated.
Responding, Group Managing Director, FBN Holdings Plc, Mr. UK Eke, said that the company’s ultimate goal was to restore shareholders value.
“We were trained by dividends FBN paid to our parents in the past and we will revert to those things that were in place then,” Eke said.
He also assured the shareholders that they were committed to restoring shareholders values and would continue to carry them along in everything.
“Times are hard truly but we must ensure you don’t suffer undue pain under my leadership. “We have intensify our efforts to drive the contribution of non-bank subsidiaries to Group portfolio to 10 per cent through enhanced coordination and synergy realisation,” he said.
In his address, Chairman of the company, Oba Otudeko told the shareholders that 2015 was challenging but FBN made significant progress in the execution of its ambitious but attainable three-year strategic plan.
“Given the performance of all operating companies, we are confident that significant opportunities for improved synergistic benefits exist within the group”, Otudeko said.
Looking into the future, he said the company will continue to focus on effective execution of its strategy and on delivering value to shareholders.