Wema Bank Plc has assured that the bank is currently working out modalities that would facilitate payment of dividend to shareholders and increase profitability in the current financial year.
The Chief Financial Officer of the bank, Tunde Mabawonku, while fielding questions from journalists during the bank’s yearly general meeting, held in Lagos yesterday explained that the process of dividend payout to shareholders of the bank is on-going, adding that the bank’s financials would be in a position to pay dividend by the end of 2016 financial year.
“The process of paying dividend is on going, if you look at the balance sheet of the bank, there are some elements called negative retained earning that we have on the books, very soon we will be coming back again to seek shareholders consent to do some scheme of rearrangement to move some balance of the negative retained earnings to the share premium.
“Until we do that, the bank will be on the position to pay dividend and I think we would do that this year, hopefully once we get the clearance from the regulators, we will come back again before the end of the year to get the shareholders consent and by the end of 2016 the financial will be in a position to pay dividend”.
On the steps, taken so far to enhance profit and grow the bank’s deposit, he said; “We are doing a lot in terms of cost efficiency and in the areas we can minimize cost , we would do so, but most importantly for us is to grow the retail business, so we are doing a lot in campuses and schools and we have seen improvement in the number of accounts and with this, performance will increase in 2016.”
Reviewing its performance, the Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Segun Oloketuyi explained that the bank was able to sustain its transformation drive with total deposits for the period growing about 10 per cent over the prior year to N284.9 billion.
Gross earnings, according to him rose to N46.0 billion from N42.19 billion recorded in 2014, and closed the year with profit before tax remaining stable at N3.05 billion compared to N3.09bn in 2014.
“Given the challenging outlook for 2016, the Bank has started the year with a renewed focus on its strategic aspiration of becoming a leading retail bank in Nigeria. “The continued implementation of Project L.E.A.P- (the Bank’s Growth Strategy), narrowed our focus and channelled our efforts towards specific opportunities with great potential and symbiotic relationships. This strategy, in its final phase, will continue to guide the Bank’s allocation of resources in 2016,” he added.
The shareholders commended the bank for converting its banking license from a regional bank to a national one, urging the bank to work out modalities that would enable it to boost its profitability in the current financial year.
They also stressed the need for the bank to work more on its deposit, profit and non-performing loans in order to improve in its performance.
Specifically, the Chairman, Ibadan Zone Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Shola Aboderin commended the bank for achieving a profit of N2.2 billion and four per cent rise in its assets.
He, however, advised the bank to reduce its expenses, especially in administration and advertisement.
Similarly, the National Coordinator of Standard Shareholders Association, Godwin Anono, who flayed the bank’s non payment of dividend in the previous financial year, urged the bank to do everything within its powers to increase shareholders value in the current year through dividend payout.
Source:© Copyright Guardian Online