The Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc, the financial market infrastructure (FMI) arm for the Nigerian capital market, has announced a dividend of 70 kobo per share to shareholders for the year ended December 31, 2017.
The dividend, which amounts to N3.5 billion, was 233 per cent higher than the N1.05 billion paid out in 2016. Shareholders of the company approved the dividend at the 24th annual general meeting (AGM) in Lagos yesterday and commended the board and management for the improved performance.
Speaking on the 2017 financial results, chairman of CSCS Plc, Mr. Oscar Onyema, said despite the headwinds at the beginning of 2017, CSCS emerged with a strong performance for the year across all metrics.
According to him, at the end of the year, profit-before tax stood at N5.6 billion, from N3.72 billion in 2016, while profit after tax rose from N3.5 billion to N4.9 billion. Total assets stood at N32 billion compared with N27 billion in 2016.
"We attribute our performance to better economic macro story, the Investors' and Exporters' FX Window, our sound corporate governance model, focus on implementing strategic initiatives, skilled workforce and technology," he said.
Onyema said in order to ensure competitiveness in the capital market and remain the foremost Central Securities Depository (CSD) in Africa, the company made significant investment in infrastructure by changing its core CSD platform, the Equator, to a more technologically advanced and state-of-the-art CSD platform, the TCS BaNCS .
Also speaking, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, CSCS Plc, Mr. Haruna Jalo-Waziri, said though 2017 was considered the year of hope, CSCS adapted very quickly to ensure attainment of decent financial results and other achievements in the course of the year.
"CSCS had a profit before tax budget of N3.86 billion but surpassed this target to finish the year with a profit before tax of N5.66billion (a 46.63 favourable variance). This was driven by the confidence which returned to the capital market. Hence, actual earnings from our depository, clearing and settlement services, which constituted 49.63 (2016: 42.48 per cent) of our total revenue increased by 64.49 per cent in the current year."
According to him, working with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and registrars of companies, CSCS successfully achieved 100 per cent dematerialisation of securities of quoted companies.
"The importance of this achievement is that it brings into effect the existence of a unified and comprehensive record of issued shares and the aforementioned companies' shareholders. As is applicable in other markets, this puts CSCS in the position of bona fide Custodian of the golden record of securities and a sub registry for all quoted companies" Mr. Jalo-Waziri added.