UK Ekeh
UK Eke, Group Managing Director, FBN Holdings

Adebayo Obajemu

First  Bank of Nigeria Holdings at the annual general meeting (AGM) held by proxy yesterday in Lagos, FBN Holdings reiterated its promise to place shareholder value at the forefront of its operations.

Chairman, FBN Holdings Plc, Dr. Oba Otudeko, said the group deepened its efforts to realise revenue in 2019, which led to 42 per cent increase in synergy revenue, which highlighted the group’s enhanced ability to address customers’ needs through its thriving subsidiaries.

He said the board of directors and management of FBN Holdings will ensure that all its operating entities have sufficient resources, both financial and non-financial to grow their businesses, deepen market penetration and enhance overall shareholder value.

Otudeko pointed out that 2020 marks the beginning of another three-year strategic planning cycle for the group adding that it has done extensive internal engagement and mapped its course of action over the next three years.

“In line with current and future trends, we have realigned our vision and strategic priorities across our operating entities. Furthermore, we have identified synergistic opportunities and key services that can be leveraged to further drive efficiency and overall productivity across the group,” Otudeko said.

Group Managing Director, FBN Holdings Plc, Mr. UK Eke outlined that central point of the group’s strategy is a three-pronged focus aimed at restoring shareholders value over the last three years, which enhanced the revenue profile of the group in the context of diversification across multiple streams, markets and sectors.

“These primary focus areas are in addition to the long-term strategy of the group, which is ultimately geared towards ensuring that FBN Holdings becomes one of the foremost financial services institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa. I am pleased to report that we have made material progress on all three fronts, albeit at different levels of success. The 2019 financial results reinforce our optimism in enhancing value for shareholders,” Eke said.
According to him, the 2019 financial results have been a good reflection of the group strategy as the directional ratios are consistent with the future the board and management seek to create for the institution.

According to him,  the group’s profit before tax of N83.6 billion, a 30.9 per cent growth over prior year at N63.9 billion, other key metrics such as return on equity, loans and advances, deposits, shareholders’ equity improved during the year at varying rates.  Return on equity improved by 270 basis points closing the year at 12.4 per cent from 9.7 per cent. Total assets grew by 11.4 per cent from N5.6 trillion to N6.2 trillion over the last one year. Total deposit and shareholders’ equity grew 15.3 per cent and 25 per cent, closing the year at N4.0 trillion and N661.1 billion respectively.

Eke assured shareholders that the strategy to reposition the group is gathering momentum and the key pain points, including the challenging delinquent loan portfolio, have been effectively addressed except for the need to intensify efforts at reducing our cost to serve.