By Nume Ekeghe in Lome, Togo
Shareholders of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) have approved a dividend pay-out of $48.2 million earlier declared by the pan-African bank. The dividend pay-out amounted to two cents per share.
The approval was given at the bank’s annual general meeting (AGM) that took place in Lome, Togo, at the weekend. ETI recorded a dip of 68 per cent in profit after tax (PAT) for the year ended December 31, 2015 in line with its warning of revenue drop for the period. ETI was among the five banks that sent profit warnings to the capital market community that revenue growth would be lower than expected due to a combination of low oil prices as weaker currencies hampered economic performance across the continent.
The audited results of the bank showed that profit before tax (PBT) declined by 53 per cent from N86.4 billion in 2014 to N40.6 billion in 2015. PAT dipped by 68 per cent from N65.7 billion to N21.25 billion.
Speaking at the AGM at the bank’s head office in Lome, the Group Chairman, ETI, Mr. Emmanuel Ikazoboh said: “Our financial results were poor and clearly not representative of the earnings potential of our diversified pan- African business model.
“Ecobank reported diluted earnings per share of $0.28, a fall of 83 per cent compared with the $1.69 reported in 2014. Return on total shareholders’ equity was 4.2 per cent in 2015 versus 16.5 per cent the prior year. Profit attributed to shareholders of ETI amounted to $66 million compared to $338 million in 2014.”
On dividends, he said: “I am happy to report that in light of the improvement in the parent company’s profit which increased from $5.8 million in 2014 to $60.8 million in 2015, the board has recommended a total cash dividend of $48.2 million, which translates to a dividend of $0.2 per ordinary shares for the 2015 financial year.”
The board passed a resolution that a nominal value of the ordinary shares of the company be increased from 2.5 US cent per share to 50 US cent per share. This would be done by consolidating every 20 ordinary shares held into one new ordinary share each, and issuing in replacement, new ordinary shares of 50 US cents each
Speaking against this consolidation, a former chairman, ETI, Mr. Sunny Kuku expressed concerns over consolidating the shares and the impact it would have on its share price.