16 May 2014

Nigeria: Shareholders Excited Over Custodian's 16K Dividend Payout

Lagos — Shareholders of Custodian and Allied Plc have expressed satisfaction over the 16 kobo dividend payout to them.

The shareholders, who spoke at the19th Annual General Meeting held in Lagos, also lauded the Group's profit after tax of N3.6bn.

The National Coordinator of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr. Sonny Nwosu, who spoke at the AGM, said the company is on the growth path but cautioned the firm to ensure its management expenses do not rise beyond limits. He also said the dividends pay out was reasonable but tasked the company to strive to do more.

The Chairman, Custodian and Allied Plc, Chief Michael Ade-Ojo, explained that the final dividend is 11kobo, having previously paid 5 kobo interim dividend.

He said that this demonstrates the firm's consistent dividend payment to its shareholders.

He noted that this first consolidated result of the post merger Custodian Group has yielded a top line growth with 28 per cent increase in gross premium income and 38 per cent rise in fees and commission income. The chairman noted the anticipated cost savings that were envisaged in the merger manifested in noticeable reduction in underwriting expenses which went down by 15 per cent and the management expenses which went down by eight per cent in spite of the generous redundancy benefits paid to the disengaged employees.

He said that the group's profit before taxation was N4.33bn while the earnings per share and net asset per share increased to 60k and 325k respectively.

He said the successful integration of Crusader Insurance operations has resulted in a strong entity with enviable result.

Meanwhile, the company has 90.7 percent profit increase in the first quarter of 2014.

This indicates an increase of 78.5 per cent over the N746.9m recorded in the corresponding period of 2013.

The Head, Corporate Affairs of Custodian, Bunmi Aderemi, who made this known in a statement, said the results have been transmitted to the stock market.

She noted that profit after tax increased by 90.7 per cent from N587m to N1.1bn for the period in review, while the gross written premium was N5.9bn from N4.1bn written in the same period in 2013, representing 41.8 per cent increase. The Group's asset base increased from 45.6bn as at 31 December 2013 to N47.6bn for the first quarter ended 31 March 2014, indicating 4.2 per cent growth within a three-month period.

Commenting on this remarkable performance, Mrs. Aderemi said, "Our performance in the first quarter of 2014 is a reflection of our expertise in delivering quality innovative service whilst offering a varied product portfolio to our clients, ultimately giving value to all our stakeholders. As we strive to be Africa's insurer of choice, our aim is to keep improving on past performance, realize untapped potentials in the various sectors we operate in, whilst maintaining efficiency in the system."

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