GTBank declares interim dividend
The Board of Directors of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) Plc, Nigeria’s most capitalised bank, has earmarked N7.35 billion as interim cash dividends to shareholders. In the dividend recommendation, shareholders would receive a dividend per share of 25 kobo. Earnings per share had grown by 22 per cent from N1.55 to N1.88. The dividend recommendation was one of the highlights of the first-half audited earnings report of the bank. The six-month report for the period ended June 30, 2015 showed that gross earnings increased by 15 per cent to N152.99 billion in first half 2015 as against N132.98 billion recorded in the comparable period of 2014. Profit after tax rose by 21 per cent to N53.37 billion in 2015 as against N44.01 billion in 2014. The growth in bottom-line was driven by interest and other operating income. Interest income grew by 12 per cent to N80.11 billion, while the investment and other operating income contributed an increase of 18 per cent, rising to N38.02 billion from N32.30 billion. Growth of loans and advances was however moderated as it only grew by one per cent to N1.299 trillion from N1.281 trillion. The bank’s deposits grew by five per cent from N1.649 trillion to N1.725 trillion. Shareholders’ funds also increased marginally from N374.33 billion to N384.99 billion. Total assets increased by eight per cent from N2.355 trillion to N2.544 trillion. Managing director, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) Plc, Segun Agbaje, had after the first quarter earnings report, said the major focus for the bank going forward is to strengthen market positions with distinctive customer propositions in chosen segments in order to deliver long-term sustainable and efficient growth as well as strong shareholder returns. He noted that as a financial institution with a bias for industry leadership, exceptional service delivery and innovation, GTBank has experienced tremendous growth since its inception in Nigeria in 1990. Now, the bank presently employs over 10,000 peoples in Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Uganda and the United Kingdom. GTBank earlier this year distributed N44.15 billion as final dividend, representing a dividend per share of N1.50 kobo. Total dividend per share for 2014 stood at N1.75 as against N1.70 paid for the 2013 business year. It had paid interim dividend per share of 25 kobo. This brought total payout to N51.5 billion for the 2014 business year as against N50.03 billion in 2013. Key extracts of the audited report and accounts for the year ended December 31, 2014 showed that GTBank grew its top-line by 15 per cent with gross earnings of N278.52 billion in 2014 compared with N242.67 billion in 2013. Profit before tax rose by nine per cent from N107.09 billion to N116.39 billion. Profit after tax grew by 10 per cent from N90.02 billion to N98.69 billion. Earnings per share consequently rose by 10 per cent to N3.47 in 2014 as against N3.17 in 2013. Balance sheet analysis showed that deposits base expanded by 14 per cent to N1.65 trillion in 2014 compared with N1.44 trillion in 2013. Shareholders’ funds also rose by 13 per cent from N332.35 billion to N374.33 billion. Total balance sheet size rose by 12.4 per cent from N2.10 trillion in 2013 to N2.36 trillion in 2014. GTBank also continued to maintain disciplined and prudent approach to loan growth as the proportion of non-performing loans to total loans dropped from 3.58 per cent in 2013 to 3.15 per cent in 2014.