- cites economic prudence, business expansion for GH¢200m payout
Shareholders of Ecobank have approved the payment of GH¢0.62 as dividend per share (DPS), bringing the total corporate payout for the 2021 financial year to GH¢199.98million. The sum, which represents approximately 35 percent of the financial services provider’s post-tax profit, was scaled down from the initially proposed Dividend Per Share (DPS) of GH¢0.84.
Offering an extensive response to concerns that the final DPS of GH¢0.62 paled in comparison to the healthy Earnings Per Share (EPS) of GH¢1.80, the Managing Director of Ecobank, Daniel Nii Kwei-Kumah Sackey, at the bank’s 2022 Annual General Meeting (AGM), explained that the decision was taken in a bid provide the bank with sufficient buffer for its activities during the prevailing tight economic conditions.
“We still are learning to live with COVID, and one of the lessons we have learned over the past few years is to ensure that we have built an adequate buffer to be able to absorb any losses that may come up. After statutory deductions, we had to take into consideration an amount that could be safely paid, while maintaining this buffer for the bank to support its business expansion moves and other adverse shocks that will come with the economy,” he said.
“Inflationary pressures, which have been building up over the past couple of months are likely to translate into pressures for the various businesses. This is in addition to supply chain constraints which will bring further challenges to the economy and our clients. We are trying to be prudent to maintain a sound environment to run the bank,” the Ecobank MD added.
The bank’s audited financials for the period shows that retained earnings grew by 31.09 percent, on a year-on-year (YoY) basis to GH¢1.44billion.
Year in numbers
The Ghana Stock Exchange-listed (GSE) bank grew its operating profit by 14.6 percent, from GH¢773.7million in 2020 to GH¢886.3million in 2021. This was propelled largely by a 10.5 percent appreciation in net income to close the period at GH¢1.99billion.
Ecobank reported a 12.43 percent rise in its total assets to GH¢17.86billion, with GH¢5.63billion disbursed as loans and advances to customers. Deposits from customers also saw witnessed growth YoY, rising 13.1 percent from GH¢11.39billion in 2020 to GH¢12.88billion in 2021.
The bank ended the year with Capital Adequacy, Non-Performing Loan, and Liquidity ratios of 20.24 percent, 12 percent and 69.84 percent, respectively. Despite the performance and a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 4.12, Ecobank’s stock has remained flat at GH¢7.60 since December 2021.
Consistent with its position as the market leader in the digital banking space, Ecobank bank saw the number of digital transactions climb by 35.74 percent from 23.5 million in 2020 to 31.9 million in 2022. The MD stated that Ecobank will continue to grow its digital offerings, while offering the market guidance of fairly strong growth for the rest of the year.