Shareholders of Access Bank Plc have expressed delight at the performance of the bank which they described as impressive and a sign that they will reap hugely from their investment in the near future.
Shareholders of Access Bank Plc have commended the board and management of the bank for the impressive performance recorded in the 2014 financial year, which is described as exceptional.
These views were expressed at the 26th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the bank held in Lagos recently, presided over by the chairman, Gbenga Oyebode. The investors also expressed satisfaction at the reduction in the bank’s non-performing loans (NPLs) from 2.7 per cent in 2013 to 2.2 per cent in the year under review.
The shareholders who approved the final dividend of 35 kobo per share of 50 kobo each proposed by the board, noted with satisfaction that the final dividend was in addition to the interim dividend of 25 kobo earlier paid to them.
This brings the total dividend pay-out for the 2014 financial year to 60 kobo per share, amounting to N13.73bn.
Noting that keeping the bank’s NPL at a lower digit in a challenging operating environment was a mark or excellent leadership, the shareholders said it points to the healthy status of the organization. They however lamented the stiff regulatory headwinds that affect the banks’ bottom-line negatively.
Commenting on the performance of the bank in the 2014 financial year, Mr Boniface Okezie, chairman of Progressive Shareholders Association said the decision of the board to pay the enhanced dividend in a year the bank had to raise funds through a rights issue, was a commendable development.
Mr. Gbenga Oyebode, chairman, attributed the impressive performance of the bank to the dedication of the management and staff who showed strong ability to generate strong financial performance despite adverse market condition, resulting in the bank’s improved revenue generation capacity, as gross earnings rose to N245 billion from N206.89 billion in 2013, representing 18.5 per cent growth.
He noted that the excellent performance of the management team showed in the profit after tax (PAT) which rose from N36.03 billion in 2013 to N43.06 billion in 2014, a rise of 19.5 per cent, adding “As we pursue our mission and vision, we are confident that the strategic direction we have chosen is sound. We will maintain our strong capital and liquidity, managing risk effectively and operating efficiently to reduce costs.”
The Managing Director, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, assured the shareholders that the bank would continue to perform excellently in the industry as it is ranked among Nigeria’s top 5 banks. “The future is what we are already pursuing. We will be the most respected African bank. I can assure you that 2015 is going to be a stronger year than 2014 and that means better returns for our shareholders. The corporate strategy of the bank is what I have shared several times. I can tell you we are right on track,” Wigwe told Journalists on the sideline of the event venue in Lagos.