The dividend will be paid at GH¢0.38 per share; a 15 percent increase over the 2015 dividend rate of GH¢0.33.
Speaking at the Bank’s 23rd Annual General Meeting, Mr Just Kofi Arthur, Chairman of the Board of Directors, proposed the payment of the dividends, which was accepted and adopted by the AGM.
Mr Arthur said the dividend would be paid to shareholders who were registered with the bank by close of business on 19th June, 2017.
Presenting the Chairman’s statement, Mr Arthur noted however that shareholders may be called upon to contribute either in cash or transfer from income surplus to meet potential regulatory demands for an increased stated capital.
The dividend payment, followed the Bank’s good performance in the 2016 financial year, recording Profit before tax of GH¢467 million, up 29 per cent from 2015 and Profit after tax of GH¢318 million, in the year under review. The figure represented a 25 per cent increase in profit after tax over the previous year.
The Bank, according to Mr Arthur, performed well amidst a challenging operating environment, characterised by reduced trade volumes, lower commodity prices, subdued investments and uncertainties with Brexit on the global front, and tight monetary stance, high inflation, oil production outage and currency depreciation, on the domestic front.
Total assets of the Bank grew by 30 per cent from GH¢4.7 billion in 2015 to GH¢6.1 billion in 2016, funded largely with new deposits to the tune of GH¢899 million.
“With these resources, your bank generated total operating income OF GH¢1.1 billion in 2016 compared to GH¢863 million in 2015, thus recording 24 per cent growth year on year,” he told shareholders.
The bank’s operating expenses however grew by 38 per cent to GH¢588 million in the year under review. The additional spending went into financing voluntary redundancies and other branch works as part of its rebranding and modernisation programme.
Mr Arthur said the new board, which was ratified by the shareholders at the AGM, would continue to build on the foundation laid by the previous one to grow the Bank.
“We are determined to build on the foundations set by those who were before us. They’ve obviously done a marvellous job so far, but there are more things that could be done and that we have to do,” he said.
He said the board was gearing up to come up with a new four-year strategic plan for the Bank as the five-year plan was drawing to is close.
“GCB is a sleeping giant and its time it woke up. It’s a strong bank… and the board is determined to make sure that GCB utilises its assets to create success in future and create value for shareholders.
Mr Socrates Afram, Chief Financial Officer of GCB said going forward, the bank would focus more on delivering a lot more treasury services, which had been a little dormant, as well as on trade, to increase incomes.
He said while the bank had recorded some non-performing loans, which had been a challenge in the industry, the rate of their NPLs was better compared to their competition. GCB’s NPL ratio stands at 14 per cent and is expected to reduce by end of June 2017.