Directors of Nigeria’s largest financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) Plc, are meeting today to consider and approve the audited financial statement and accounts of the bank for the year ended December 31, 2019.
The meeting will among others consider final dividend recommendation to be made to shareholders after the leading bank had distributed interim dividend per share of 30 kobo based on its six-month half-year results.
The directors are expected to review the final audited financial statements for the 12-month period against the background of the audited half-year report and third and fourth quarters’ interim results.
The approved audited report and financial statements will then be forwarded for the clearance of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) before release to the investing public at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
GTBank, which had maintained a consistent track record of twice-a-year dividend payment, is widely expected to pay a final dividend not less than N2.45 per share paid for the 2019 business year. GTB’s share price rose by 50 kobo to open yesterday at N34 per share.
By third quarter, GTBank’s pre-tax profit stood at N170.7 billion in 2019, a modest 3.9 per cent increase on N164.2 billion recorded in comparable period of 2018.
The results for the period ended September 30, 2019 showed that net profit closed third quarter 2019 at N146.99 billion as against N142.22 billion posted in corresponding period of 2018. Earnings per share thus rose from N5.03 to N5.19.
The bank’s loan book had grown by 9.2 per cent from N1.262 trillion recorded as at December 31, 2018 to N1.378 trillion by September 30, 2019 while customers’ deposit had risen by 5.1 per cent from N2.274 trillion in December 2018 to N2.390 trillion in September 2019.
Total assets and shareholders’ funds stood at N3.52 trillion and N636.8 billion respectively, implying that the bank might not be under immediate need of extraordinary capital retention.
GTBank Managing Director, Mr. Segun Agbaje had raised optimism that bank would maintain steady growth pointing out that the bank’s business strategy is to deliver sustainable long-term value for its shareholders.
The board meeting, the first audited results meeting by any bank, may bring GTBank into the early filer ranking of the NSE for the 2019 financial year.
Only one bank made the early filer ranking for the 2018 business year. The early filer ranking tracks companies that file their interim financial statements at least two weeks before the due date, and audited financial statements at least four weeks before the due date.
The NSE ranks early filer high and showcases them as companies with high corporate governance practices.
Extant listing rules at the NSE require quoted companies to submit their annual audited account to the Exchange not later than 90 calendar days after the relevant year end, and published same in at least two national dailies not later than 21 calendar days before the date of the annual general meeting.
They are also required to post same on their websites with the web address disclosed in the newspaper publications.
Also, an electronic copy of the publication shall be filed with the Exchange on the same day as the publication.
Most quoted companies including all banks, major manufacturers, insurers, oil and gas companies, breweries and cement companies use the 12-month Gregorian calendar year as their business year. The deadline for the submission of yearly report for the year ended December 31, 2019 is thus Monday March 30, 2020.