Shareholders were full of praise for the board and management of Guaranty Trust Bank for its impressive performance in 2018 despite the challenging operation environment at its 29th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos on Thursday.
The board showed great commitment to the cause of the bank, which reflected in its performance last year, said Sunny Nwosu, one of the shareholders.
Another shareholder, Patrick Ajudua, applauded the performance of the bank in sustaining profitability. He also appreciated the board for dividend being given to shareholders.
He urged the board to consider increasing the dividend payout next year as the earnings per share has grown significantly.
Tunji Bamidele, another shareholder commended the dividend policy of the company, while urging the board to review it upwardly b the following year.
“I appreciate your earnings per share as well as your dividend policy of about 42 per cent compared to that of last year. I appeal to the board to move beyond this. Giving us 50 per cent will be efficient for we the shareholders,” he added.
Meanwhile, Nona Owoh expressed displeasure the N482 billion GTBank paid as tax last year, saying this has been eating deep into the returns on investment of shareholders.
He also called on the management of the bank to intensify efforts at reducing its N18 billion unclaimed dividends.
However, shareholders unanimously gave GTBank the nod to pay N2.45 kobo dividend per every 50 Kobo share, bringing the total dividend paid for the 2018 financial year to N2.75 Kobo.
In his response, Segun Agbaje, the Managing Director of the Group promised that the board would continue to work harder for a more robust dividend, while stating that the board would continue to work hard to make sure the dividend payouts exceed expectations every year.
Mrs. Osaretin Demuren, the Chairman of GTB, asserted that the performance across all financial metrics and improved strategic positioning of the brand.
“Gross earnings for the year grew by 3.7 per cent to N434.7 billion from N419.2 billion reported in December 2017. Profit before tax stood at N215.6 billion, representing a growth of 9.1 per cent over N197.7 billion recorded in the corresponding year ended December 2017.
She noted that at the heart of the Group’s strategy was a commitment to the shared future intended to create for its customers, staff, shareholders and all the stakeholders across Africa.
Speaking on the subsidiaries growth, she said the bank was consolidating its leading position in Nigeria’s financial services sector, as well as making progress in growing its business across select, high growth African markets
“We believe that our commercial success depends on the prospects of Africa and we, in turn, play a significant role as a catalyst for her growth.”
Looking forward, she believed the board was on track towards executing of its strategy, achieving its vision and fulfilling its purpose. “Given the outlook if improving macroeconomic conditions, the Bank remains resolute in taking advantage of these opportunities to growing earnings, improving profitability and delivering returns to its esteemed shareholders.