The shareholders of the Co-operative Bank Group at their 10th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at the Bomas of Kenya (25th May 2018) has approved a dividend of 80 cents per share, being the same level of pay-out as in the previous year.
The bank has maintained a solid dividend track record on the back of sustained profitability over the years. Year 2017 performance was especially remarkable with the Bank reporting a profit before tax of Kes 16.4 Billion against a backdrop of a most challenging operating environment, with rate caps, adverse economic effects of drought and the extended electioneering period.
Profit after tax was Kshs 11.4 Billion in 2017 compared to Kshs 12.7 Billion in the previous year.
The AGM was also given an update on the Growth Strategies of the Group. The good performance was made possible by the gains from the Transformation Project that the bank has been implementing since 2014 focused on improving operational efficiency, superior customer service and lower operating costs.
The AGM re-elected Messrs John Murugu, Julius Sitienei, Lawrence Karissa and Rose Simani for another term of three years. In addition, Messrs Patrick K. Githendu and Godfrey K. Mburia were elected as directors in the Bank to replace Mr. Stanley Muchiri and Mr. Julius Riungu who retired in the year.
The AGM noted the Co-operative Bank of South Sudan that is a unique Joint Venture (JV) partnership with Government of South Sudan (Co-op Bank 51% and GOSS 49%) made a PBT of South Sudanese Pounds (SSP) 192 Million which was 135% higher than the SSP 82 Million posted in 2016.This performance however translated to a monetary loss of Kshs.603 million in 2017 attributable to hyperinflation accounting occasioned by currency devaluation of the South Sudanese Pound. The AGM noted there was an improvement in performance with the South Sudan business making a Profit before tax of Kshs 32.4 Million in Quarter 1 of 2018 compared to a loss of Kshs 34.7 Million in Q12017.
The AGM noted with appreciation the recent recognition and awards that the bank had received. These include the following;
- At the Kenya Bankers Association Sustainable Finance Catalyst Awards 2017, the Group beat 13 other contenders to emerge Overall Winner as a result of building a sustainability strategy that enables people, businesses and society to grow in a way that is sustainable in the long-term.
- At the Banker Africa Awards 2018, the Group was recognised with three key awards;
- Best Retail Bank in Kenya
- Best SME Bank in Kenya
- Best Investment Institution
Selected quotes from the AGM Presentation by Co-operative Bank Group Managing Director & CEO Dr. Gideon Muriuki:
- Sustainability is fully integrated in our business model that stands on the three pillars of Economic sustainability, Social sustainability and Environmental stewardship. As a bank that is predominantly-owned by the 15 million-member Kenyan Co-operative Movement, we are inclusive by design that has not only enabled us to deliver shared prosperity today, but also helped us build an awareness and prudence to avoid putting future generations in jeopardy.
- We have over the years worked hard to build a model that enables us to stay close to the customer, listen to their needs and glean insights on their long-term goals that we can confidently say we are offering the most competitive value proposition that SMEs and Retail clients can expect to ever get in this market.
The AGM was informed that Co-op Bank is well positioned to ride on the expected upswing of the economy in 2018 leveraging on the Group’s strong balance sheet, a cost effective operating structure and a highly motivated team.
The Bank has already reported a remarkable Profit Before Tax of Kshs.4.9 Billion for the first quarter of the year.