GTCO Shareholders Approve $750m Capital Raise, Other Resolutions

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Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO) Plc shareholders approved the company’s plan to raise $750 million in new capital through public offerings, private placements, rights issues, and/or other transaction modes on Thursday.

 

Also, at the third Annual General Meeting in Lagos, the shareholders endorsed management’s N94.179 billion dividend payouts for the year ended December 31, 2023, comprising a N2.70 per share final dividend and a 50 kobo interim dividend paid last year, bringing the total dividend paid for the 2023 financial year to N3.20 per share.

 

Speaking at the meeting, the company’s chairman, Hezekiah Sola Oyinlola, said, “After three years of reorganising 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.”

 

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 the full year 2023, investment securities at 25.3 per cent in 2023 and placement 16.1 per cent in 2023. The Group grew its total Assets by 51.3 per cent 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, “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 GTCO Group CEO, Segun Agbaje, stated that in spite of the varying operating environment challenges and headwinds that weighed on growth in 2023, the Group delivered a strong performance, posting a PBT of N609.3 billion, representing a growth of 184.5 per cent from N214.2 billion achieved in the full year 2022.

 

According to him, this result was due to impressive growth in gross earnings, which increased by 120 per cent to N1.186 trillion in the year under review, underpinned by growth on funded and non-funded income lines.

 

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

 

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

 

He said, “I think it is a good result for us. We looked at the environment’s volatility and balanced profitability with some conservatism. We are happy with how we ended 2023. We have a tradition of increasing dividends 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. This indicates that we will have a more significant dividend in 2024.

 

“If we look now, from outside Nigeria, we recorded 25 per cent to 30 per cent of the profit. We have also diversified geographically. We also started three new businesses: our PFA, HabariPay, and our asset management company. They are already at 1 per cent of Group profit in one and a half years. I think our diversification away, both banking and geographically, is going 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, said that the performance was 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 its good track record of paying dividends.

 

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

 

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

 

On recapitalisation, Ibrude urged the minority shareholders to take up their rights to support the company’s growth.