Sterling Bank to pay N1.7bn dividend

Sterling Bank Plc has received the approval of its shareholders to pay a dividend of N1.72bn, which translates into six kobo per share, for the 2014 financial.

The bank had generated N103.7bn as gross earnings for the year, 13 per cent higher than the N91.6bn it made a year earlier with its pre-tax profit rising by 15.4 per cent to N10.7bn.

It witnessed a 5.3 per cent drop in cost of funds, while non-interest income grew by 18.3 per cent to N25.7bn from N21.8bn in 2013.

The net loans and advances jumped by 15.4 per cent year-on-year from N371.2bn to N321.7bn, while customer deposits rose by 15 per cent to N655.9bn from N570.5bn. Sterling Bank also recorded a 16.5 per cent rise in total assets.

The shareholders, who approved the dividend payout at Sterling Bank’s Annual General Meeting in Lagos on Thursday, hailed the bank for the performance.

For instance, the National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Sunny Nwosu, noted that the performance was positive.

He, however, called on the board and management to work towards paying a higher dividend for the 2015 financial year.

The Managing Director, Sterling Bank, Mr. Yemi Adeola, told the shareholders that the 2014 financial year was reflective of the bank’s strong growth model.

He explained that despite the headwinds that the bank had to contend with during the year it achieved “double-digit earnings growth in line with our medium-term strategic objectives.”

He pledged that Sterling Bank would deliver greater returns for shareholders in the future.

On the funds raised by the bank late last year, he explained that they would ultimately lead to greater dividends.

He also explained that the bank’s plans to boost its capital base were on course.

Adeola said, “Our capital plan remains on track as we advance to the last phase of the capital raising programme, a multicurrency subordinated debt tranche of $200m.”

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Source : Punch

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