GTCO shareholders approve $750m capital raising

…. Endorse N94.179bn dividend for 2023

By Stanley Onyeka, Lagos 

Shareholders of Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO) Plc yesterday at the third Annual General Meeting approved the company’s plan to establish a capital raising programme of $750 million either through public offerings, private placements, rights issues and/or other transaction modes.

Also, the shareholders endorsed the management’s N94.179 billion dividend pay-outs for the year ended December 31, 2023, comprising of N2.70 per share final dividend and 50 kobo interim dividend paid last year, making a total dividend paid for the 2023 financial year to N3.20 per share.

Speaking at the meeting, Chairman of GTCO, Hezekiah Oyinlola, said: “After three years of reorganizing and fitting all the business verticals into a holding company structure, we successfully made the first wave of progress in our drive to broaden and diversify our revenue streams and solidify our standing as a leading financial services provider in Africa.”

Mr. Oyinlola noted that “in 2023 the Group’s Balance sheet remained well structured and distributed with loans and advances accounting for 25.4 per cent in full year 2023, investment securities at 25.3% in 2023 and placement 16.1%  in 2023.

“The Group grew its total Assets by 51.3% to N9.8 trillion in 2023 due to increases posted on key asset lines including investment securities, cash & bank balances, loans and advances, and restricted deposits.”

He added that “beyond the bottom-line, we understand that building an enduring institution is also about the underlying drive to make a sustainable impact in the communities we serve and operate in.

“Through strategic initiatives and partnerships, we strive to address pressing social and economic challenges, enriching lives and fostering better outcomes for people and businesses across Africa.”

The Group CEO of GTCO, Segun Agbaje noted that despite the varying challenges in the operating environment and headwinds that weighed on growth in 2023, the Group delivered a strong performance posting a pre-tax profit of N609.3 billion a growth of 184.5% from N214.2 billion achieved in full year 2022.

According to him, this result was on the back of impressive growth in gross earnings, increasing by 120% to N1.186 trillion in the year under review, underpinned by the growth on funded and non-funded income lines.

He added that “our Nigerian Banking operation accounts for 77.5% of the Group’s profitability, West Africa constitutes 17.5%, East Africa contributes 2.2%, UK 1.9%, and Non-Banking Entities make up 0.9%.

Beyond the bottom-line, we understand that building an enduring institution is also about the underlying drive to make a sustainable impact in the communities we serve and operate in.

Shareholders’ comment

Responding to questions at the end of the meeting, Mr. Agbaje said the board and management of the company is happy with the performance of the company in 2023 financial year, and promised they will do better in 2024 to continue with the tradition of upward trajectory already in place over the years.

His words, “I think for us, it is a good result. We looked at the volatility in the environment and we balanced profitability with some conservatism. We are happy at how we ended 2023.

“For us, we have a tradition of increasing dividend, every year, so I can say categorically that in 2024, dividends will be up. Already, profit is up in the First Quarter of 2024, we have posted N509.3 billion, I think this is an indication that we will have a bigger dividend in 2024.

 “If look now, from outside Nigeria, we recorded 25% to 30% of the profit. We have also diversified geographically. We also have three new businesses which we started which are our PFA, HabariPay and our asset management company.

“They are already at one per cent of Group profit in one and a half years. I think our diversification away, both banking and geographically, is going on well.

“The next thing is to work hard and hopefully with the support of Nigerians we will raise the money.”

Shareholders commended the company’s 2023 performance. The National Coordinator of Progressive Shareholders Association, Okezie Boniface, described the performance as excellent, with growth in its earnings per share of N19.70 and the company paying N3.20 per share, saying that the group’s diversification is paying off.

On the Capital raising, Okezie anticipated a successful exercise for the company due to their good track record of paying dividends.

Also, the National Coordinator of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Moses Ibrude noted that the company performance in the year under review was impressive, considering the situation of the country.

He said GTCO is at the forefront of good corporate governance, appealing to GTCO to continue to run the business well to deliver good returns to the shareholders.

On the recapitalization, Ibrude urged the minority shareholders to take up their rights in supporting the company growth.

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