By Lydia Ngwakwe
Lagos, May 24, 2023 Access Holdings Plc shareholders have approved a final dividend of N46.21 billion declared by the company for financial year ended Dec. 31, 2022.
The shareholders gave the approval at the company’s first Annual General Meeting (AGM) since its transition into a Holdings Company on Wednesday in Lagos.
Naija247news reports that the dividend translated to N1.30 per share.
NAN also reports that the approved dividend was in addition to the 20k interim dividend earlier paid by the company bringing the total dividend to N1.50 per share.
Speaking at the meeting, Mrs Bisi Bakare, the President, Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria, lauded the company for achieving gross earnings of over one trillion naira during the review period.
Bakare also commended the management for improved dividend payment in spite of the challenging operating environment.
Also speaking, Mr Sunny Nwosu, the founder, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, commended the management for impressive performance achieved during the period under review.
Nwosu also lauded the management for holding a physical AGM unlike their contemporaries that settled for virtual.
He, however, urged the company to ensure improved dividend payment in the years ahead.
Earlier, the Group Chairman of the company, Mr Bababode Osunkoya, said that the total assets grew by 28.2 per cent to N15.0 trillion from N11.7 trillion in 2021.
Osunkoya said deposits from customers grew by 33 per cent from N6.9 trillion in 2021 to N9.3 trillion in 2022.
He said in spite of the tough macroeconomic conditions, with inflation at over 20 per cent, the group aggressively drove down its cost-to-income ratio despite ongoing business expansion.
Osunkoya described 2022 as a year of unprecedented challenges for Access Holdings and for society more broadly.
“As a company, we continued to demonstrate our resilience, our ability and commitment to support customers, clients, and wider stakeholders in ever changing economic conditions.
“In January 2023, we began the implementation of another five-year strategy which we shared with the investment community and stakeholders.
“A key aspect of our intent over the next five years is to become a top-five financial services provider in Africa by 2027.
“We will build a large, diversified company, by consolidating our wholesale franchise and embedding ourselves firmly in the retail market.
“This strategy will be digitally led, customer-focused and supported by various collaborations with reputable fintech companies, to deliver a deeply entrenched retail footprint and payment business.
“This will all be supported with strong technological infrastructure and robust risk management framework,” he said.
The Group Chief Executive, Access Holdings, Dr Herbert Wigwe, assured the shareholders of robust dividends in the nearest future.
“As the institution has transitioned to a Holdings Company to capture the opportunities the African market provides, the Company’s ambitions will be supported by seven key enablers (Customer Experience, Digital and Technology, Data and Analytics, Risk, ESG, People and Culture and Brand and Communication).
“These enablers will ensure Access executes seamlessly, to become one of the top five financial services institution in the African Continent by the end of the strategic cycle in terms of revenues, asset base and on a balanced scorecard basis.
“The proven success of our business model gives us a strong foundation upon which we can build the best open financial services platform and set new ambitions, which we unveiled at our Investor Day in January 2023,” Wigwe said.
He said that the group was well positioned to be at the centre of financial flows on the continent – trade, expanding and deepening financial services and serving corporates with excellence – creating a self-sustaining ecosystem.