Excited shareholders of Wema Bank PLC were filled with praises and commendation for the board, management and staff of the financial institution for recording impressive performance in 2018 which has resulted in the payment of 3kobo per share dividend to them, being the first in the last 14 years.
They gave the commendation yesterday at the bank’s 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at the Lagoon Restaurant, Victoria Island, Lagos. Among other things, they commended the bank’s performance in 2018 despite the challenging macro-economic and regulatory environment and gave their approval to the financial results of the bank and the three kobo per share dividend payment for the year ended December 31, 2018.
The AGM afforded the Board of Directors and shareholders opportunity to deliberate on the bank audited financial statement and its operations for the period ended December 31, 2018, and areas which the bank needs to improve on.
Wema Bank recorded an increase in its gross earnings by 9.56 per cent to N71.5 billion from N65.3 billion in 2017, while the interest income appreciated by 8.6per cent to N57.6 billion from N53.1 billion. From the results presented, the net fee and commission increased to N6.5 billion from N5.6 billion, the net trading income rose to N5.5 billion from N4.8 billion, while the other income appreciated to N1.8 billion from N1.6 billion.
Its total assets rose to N488.8 billion from N387.6 billion, while the total liabilities went up to N437.9 billion from N337.9 billion, with the shareholders’ fund rising to N50.9 billion from N49.6 billion. While the profit before tax rose by 59.4 per cent to N4.8 billion, the profit after tax rose by 47.5per cent to N3.3 billion from N2.3 billion, with the earnings per share going up by 48.3 per cent to N8.60k from N5.80k in 2018.
In a related development, the Chairman of the Bank, Babatunde Kasali at the AGM, disclosed to shareholders that the bank will renew focus on its retail business. “We will deepen our focus on the commercial and corporate business while we introduce a renewed focus on our retail business. The above will help to continue to reinforce our commitment towards balance sheet optimization, efficient processes and operations as well as value creation for esteemed customers and shareholders.”
Kasali explained to shareholders that the bank aim is to scale up and improve market share through various initiatives. Adding that in 2018, the bank made significant strides in this direction. In his words, “since 2016 our business has largely focused on four major areas namely innovation and technology, providing excellent customer services, effective risk management and broadening our national footprint to achieve our targets.”
He said ALAT, Nigeria’s first fully digital bank was borne of this renewed focus and in 2018, the bank continues to record significant growth, especially around customers’ acquisition. A look at the bank 2018 audited financial shows that gross earnings were up by 9.6 per cent from N65.27 billion in 2017 to N71.53 billion in 2018.