By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
Shareholders of Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc, on Friday, approved total dividend of N4.3 billiion declared by the board for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2019.
The shareholders gave the approval at the company’s virtual 26th Annual General Meeting (AGM) by proxy, held at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) event centre.
The dividend translated to 86k per share when compared with 70k per share paid in the comparative period of 2018.
Speaking to the shareholders at the meeting, Mr Oscar Onyema, CSCS Chairman, appreciated the resilience of the company and its performance amidst market volatility and waning transaction volumes in 2019.
“This sets of results and impressive returns to shareholders are commendable, particularly when put in the perspective of the relatively weak liquidity in the market in 2019.
“This feat reflects the tenacity of the management in diversifying the business and commitment to cost efficiency.
“Whilst transaction fees waned, it is satisfying that CSCS sustained both top and bottom-line growths, with revenue and profit before tax of N9.1billion and N6.3 billion respectively”, Onyema said.
Mr Haruna Jalo-Waziri, CSCS Managing Director, said that the performance was a result of commitment to superior value for shareholders.
“My colleagues and I remain committed to our earnings growth and cost efficiency philosophies, as we are driven by the ultimate objective of creating superior value for shareholders and enhancing market efficiencies.
“I am pleased with the 165 per cent growth in non-core earnings, reflecting our tenacity toward diversifying the business.
“More importantly, the overall performance reflects the pay-off of our painstaking investment in people and new technologies, as we strengthen our capacity to serve our participants better and meet anticipatory need of the market.”
“Notwithstanding the inflationary environment, we closed 2019 with 31.5 per share cost-to-income ratio, demonstrating continuous improvement in cost efficiency.
“As we deliver on our strategic initiatives aimed at enhancing the post-trade segment of the Nigerian capital market, we are upbeat on the earnings outlook of the company, with expectations of delivering superior returns to shareholders over the long term,” Jalo-Waziri said.
He said that the company would continue to strengthen its partnership with all market stakeholders toward deepening the market for mutual growth.
“In 2019, we seamlessly delivered on our core responsibilities of safe depository, clearing and settlement of capital market transactions, but these do not excite us, as we are not in business for these table stakes, which we consider to be routine.
“We have greater and audacious ambitions of partnering with our stakeholders in realising the huge potential of the Nigerian capital market through innovations.
“I am pleased that we are laying solid foundations for creating value and impactful innovations for the Nigerian market, even as we reckon the odds”, Jalo-Waziri added.
On coronavirus pandemic, Jalo-Waziri said that the company activated its Business Continuity Plan requiring staff to work from home well ahead of the Federal Government’s lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja.
He said, “I am happy to report that we continue to seamlessly serve the market remotely, extracting the benefits of our proactive investments in new technologies and people.
“Whilst operating remotely over the past eight weeks, we continue to record 99.99 per cent uptime across all our channels, with a resounding commitment to efficiently support all primary and secondary market transactions through this challenging time, and always.” (NAN)