Access Holdings Plc held its first annual general meeting last Wednesday where shareholders of the holding company approved the payment of a final dividend of N46.209 billion to shareholders whose names appeared on the register of members of the company at the close of business on May 9, 2023. The final dividend represents N1.30 per share for the year ended December 31, 2022. Access Holdings had paid an interim dividend of 20 kobo per ordinary share.
The shareholders at the annual general meeting received and approved the company’s audited financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2022, and the report of the directors, auditors, and audit committee thereon.
Bisi Bakare, national coordinator, the Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria commended the various innovations introduced by the present leadership of the holding company in the year under review.
According to her, “the several awards won by the bank in the last one year is a commendation of its efforts,” adding that the dividend payout is very commendable.
“I will like to commend the board’s commitment to environmental sustainability. This is very commendable. I am particularly impressed by the approval of the 2023-2027 strategy,” she added.
Bababode Osunkoya, chairman, Access Holdings Plc while speaking earlier at the meeting noted that there is a purpose, energy and creativity in the Access family which will continue to be deployed for the benefit of the communities it serves.
“The Group recorded a profit before tax of 167.7 billion for the year. Total assets grew by 28.2 percent from 11.7 trillion in December 2021 to 15.0 trillion in December 2022. Deposits from customers grew by 33 percent from 46.9 trillion in 202 1 to 9.3 trillion in 2022. Our shareholders’ equity also grew by 17 percent from 1.05 trillion in 2021 to 1.23 trillion in 2022.
“Despite the tough macroeconomic conditions, with inflation at over 20 percent, we aggressively drove down our cost-to-income ratio despite the ongoing business expansion. The Board is pleased to propose a final dividend of 130 Kobo per ordinary share. This is in addition to the interim dividend of 20 kobo per ordinary share paid at mid-year.
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“Transitioning into a Non-Operating Financial Holdings Company – future-fit strategy, we celebrated our 20th anniversary in March 2022. As we transitioned into a Holdings structure in March 2022. We remain intentional about our objectives at every point in time. 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,” Osunkoya.
Osunkoya noted that Access Holdings will build a large diversified company by consolidating the wholesale franchise and embedding itself 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 by a strong technological infrastructure and a robust risk management framework”.
Herbert Wigwe, group chief executive, Access Holdings Plc while looking into the future said the company’s ambitions will be supported by seven key enablers.
According to him, the seven are customer experience, digital and technology, data and analytics, risk, ESG, people and culture, and brand and communication.
He said these enablers will ensure Access executes seamlessly, to become one of the top five financial services institutions in the African continent by the end of the strategic cycle in terms of revenues, asset base, and on a balanced scorecard basis.
“This 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 the Group will continue to build strong relationships with all shareholders, to deliver on its strategy in line with the long-term values.
Roosevelt Ogbonna, managing director/Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank also said the bank will continue to pursue its retail expansion strategy by growing the customer base to over 125 million as well as driving financial inclusion.
“In addition, we will consolidate our wholesale business, supporting intra-African trade across the continent. We will also transform and change our operating model to deepen digital penetration as well as support our wholesale business,” he added.