The shareholders of Sterling Bank have commended the bank for its 2022 financial performance and recommendation of 15 kobo per ordinary share, which is 50 per cent increase from 2021’s figure.
The shareholders gave the commendation at the bank’s 61st annual general meeting in Lagos on Wednesday.
Speaking at the meeting, one of the shareholders, Mr Rilwan Hamza, commended the board members and staff of the bank for impressive financial performance.
Another shareholder, Mr Boniface Okezie, expressed delight at the level of transparency displayed by the board and commended them for the improved dividend payout.
The shareholders urged the board to take advantage of the transition into a financial holdings company and establish more subsidiaries that would drive more growth and increase shareholder value.
The bank disclosed that its strong performance for the 2022 financial year was derived from growth in its assets base and customers’ deposits by 14.4 per cent and 9.8 per cent respectively.
This was despite strong economic headwinds experienced by the Nigerian economy in the year under review, it said.
It noted that it was the first shareholders’ meeting as a limited liability company, following its ongoing transformation into a holding company structure
The Chairman of the bank, Mr Asue Ighodalo, said “Despite the challenges during 2022, our performance reflected our resilience and determination to deliver optimal value for our shareholders. We are pleased that we closed the year on a good note.”
Ighodalo said the bank grew profit before tax to N20.8bn, representing a 29 per cent year-on-year increase from N16.1bn recorded in 2021, and a 28.5 per cent growth in profit after taxes to achieve N19.3bn for 2022.
He said the PAT growth was driven by N18.6bn improvement in net operating income amid heightened inflationary pressure and regulatory policies.
The gross earnings grew by 16.6 per cent to N175.1bn compared to N150.2bn reported in 2021, he said.
On business outlook for the year, the chairman said, “We remain very optimistic about our bank’s future and are devoted to effectively transforming our business to deliver optimal performance, and significantly offer superior services to millions of Nigerians.
“We are steadfast in our commitment to lead with best-in-class customer experience, establish a work environment that helps our employees became the best versions of themselves, become even more socially responsible as an institution, and create immense value for our shareholders.”