The Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc,, held its 27th Annual General Meeting (AGM), Tuesday in Lagos where shareholders approved N1.17 dividend per share payout to all qualifying shareholders who held the shares at the close of business on Monday, 10th of May 2021. The AGM was held at the Idera Hall of the Raddison Blu Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos whist observing social distancing protocols and hygiene, as advised by relevant authorities in respect of COVID-19 pre-cautions.
Following the approval of shareholders on the N1.17 dividend per share proposed by the Board, CSCS would be paying a total of N5.85billion to its shareholders, some 36.0% year-on-year growth in return to shareholders, when compared to the N4.3 billion dividend (i.e N0.86 dividend per share) paid in the previous year.
Speaking on the performance of the company, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Oscar N. Onyema noted, “despite the challenges in 2020, CSCS emerged stronger, delivering outstanding growth in top and bottom-lines, and executing far-reaching initiatives that would sustainably strengthen the competitiveness and resilience of the business.”
“Growing profit by over 41% in such a challenging year to deliver 20.3% return on average equity, the Board of Directors is more than ever upbeat on the value accretive prospects of CSCS. More importantly, we are enthusiastic on the progress made thus far in repositioning the business to efficiently play a more active and leading role in deepening the Nigerian capital market. With continuous investments in new technologies, talent, and work environment, we expect productivity to grow, as the Board continues to work with the Management to exceed stakeholders’ expectations”, the Chairman of the Board added.
Also commenting on the results, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Haruna Jalo-Waziri said; “These impressive results reflect our enhanced collaboration with different stakeholders and their unflinching support and loyalty to CSCS, as the core infrastructure for the Nigerian capital market. Hence, my colleagues and I are excited to dedicate this performance to our esteemed participants, regulator and the Board of Directors, whose support kept us stronger through the pandemic. We would continue to invest in our collective objective of deepening the capital market and broader financial system, even as we seek new and efficient ways of enhancing our partnerships for mutual prosperity.”
“Having laid a solid foundation over the past three years, we are more than ever optimistic on the prospect of our business, especially as we diversify the business for enhanced resilience against macro and market volatilities. The years ahead look challenging, albeit more promising than ever, as we reinforce our commitment to leveraging best-in-class technologies and our continuous investments in human capital in delivering value to all stakeholders”, the Chief Executive Officer added.
The shareholders, most of whom participated through proxies due to the extant COVID-19 precautions, were excited at the performance of the company and unanimously approved the dividend proposal of N1.17 per share, as presented by the Chairman, on behalf of the Board of Directors.
Speaking at the Annual General Meeting, Eric Idiahi, one of the proxy attendees of the Annual General Meeting and Managing Director, Verod Capital LLC; a core shareholder of CSCS Plc, lauded the Management for the unprecedented performance in such a challenging year and reiterated the support of shareholders for the Company, especially as the diversification of the business and culture of innovation should enhance the sustainability of the business and ensure its capacity to deliver superior returns to shareholders over the long term.
Commenting on the conduct of the Annual General Meeting, Obong Idiong, the Chief Executive Officer of Africa Prudential Plc, the Registrar to CSCS said, “This is a well conducted General Meeting, with due observance of all relevant statutory requirements, including COVID-19 precautions. I congratulate the Board and shareholders of CSCS on the impressive performance during the 2020 financial year and more importantly for a successful General Meeting.”
Interestingly, CSCS afforded shareholders who nominated proxies for physical attendance to observe proceedings of the General Meeting via Zoom and YouTube, as the event was streamed live through the session. CSCS has a diversified shareholder base, including the Nigerian Stock Exchange, or Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, some of the largest Nigerian banks, private equity firms, other institutional investors and retail investors. The shares are traded over-the-counter through the NASD-OTC, the premier market for trading unquoted securities of public limited companies. As at close of market on Monday, 17 May 2021, the bid/ask quote on the shares of CSCS indicate a price of N17.65 per share, having rallied 17.3% year-to-date, consolidating the strong performance of the share price over the past few years