CSCS gets shareholders approval to pay N3.7bn dividend

The board of Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc on Friday got the approval of its shareholders to pay a total dividend of N3.7billion, reinforcing the value accretion to its equity owners who have seen notable rise in share price of the Company over the past year.

The dividend which is in line with CSCS commitment of ensuring strong and sustainable returns to its shareholders was proposed and approved at the Company’s 28th Annual General Meeting that took place on Friday May 6 in Lagos was unanimously approved by elated shareholders, who commended the executive management for an incredible performance, despite the challenging operating environment.

The N3.7billion dividend, which translates to 83.7percent payout ratio, reflects the resilient profitability of the Company, notwithstanding the impact of lower trading activity on most Exchanges in the Nigerian capital market and inflationary pressures.

Consolidating on its diligent earnings diversification drive, the Company grew revenue from core operations and ancillary services by 39.2percent to N6.4billion from N4.6billion in 2020, as it almost quadrupled earnings from ancillary services from N526million in 2020 financial year to N2.2billion in 2021 financial year.

Notably, income from ancillary services contributed 33.3percent and 21.5percent of operating revenue and total income for the year respectively, underpinning management’s strategy towards diversifying and strengthening the earnings fundamentals of the Company, with the ultimate objective of creating sustainable and superior wealth for shareholders and its broader stakeholders.

Addressing shareholders, Oscar Onyema, Chairman, Board of Directors of CSCS Plc said; “Notwithstanding the volatile operating environment and moderated capital flows, as reflected in the subdued capital market activities, the earnings fundamentals of your Company remained resilient and indeed stronger than ever. This fact is evident in the impressive revenue growth of 39.2percent, driven by stellar growth in ancillary income. The equity market recorded one of the weakest secondary market activities in the past few years, with the average daily trade value of N3.9billion, some 10percent below the trading activity recorded in 2020 financial year, explaining the tepid transaction fees.

Read also: Shareholders approve Fidelity Bank’s 35 kobo dividend for year 2021

“Albeit income from ancillary services recorded a significant boost, contributing N2.2billion or 21.5percent of total income in 2021 full year, from N526million or 11.3percent of total income in 2020 full year. This performance reinforces the capacity of the Management in delivering on the Board’s vision result of diversifying the business and enhancing the value accretion prospect to shareholders in a sustainable manner. More importantly, my colleagues and I on the Board of your Company are excited at the prospect for new offerings arising from strategic partnerships and new initiatives. In our oversight role, we are working with the Management to invest relevant resources towards exploring new frontiers for growth, especially as these initiatives are expected to foster retail investor penetration and broader capital market growth.”

While commenting on the outlook for the business, the Chairman noted: “typical of a pre-election year, 2022 comes with its unique macro challenges but I am optimistic on the earnings capacity and overall resilience of our business, as we hope to consolidate on the strong foundations and extract synergies opportunities with our participants and partners in sustaining the positive trajectory of the business. Hence, with the support of shareholders and other stakeholders, CSCS would continue to deliver superior performance and create wealth for shareholders.

In the same vein, Haruna Jalo-Waziri, the Chief Executive Officer, CSCS Plc said; “Reflecting the ingenuity of our participants and more importantly quick adoption of new remote access technologies, the Nigerian capital market remained active through the prolonged COVID-19 crisis. The collaboration of our regulator and participants has been incredible in sustaining our operational protocols and IOSCO PFMI standards.”

“Though clearing and settlement activity waned by 10.2percent due to lower participation of foreign investors in the Nigerian equity market and a host of macro challenges, we are excited at the growth in our depository assets by 6.1percent to N23trillion, reflecting new listings of securities across our multiple Exchange partners as well as issuers’ and investors’ confidence in the safety and secured accessibility of our systems.

Continuing, Jalo-Waziri said: “Despite the average inflation rate of 17percent during the year, we sustained our cost efficiency strategy, leading to a 1.6percent decline in operating expenses. Overall, we achieved N5.8billion and N4.4billion Profit Before Tax and Profit After Tax respectively, underpinning the resilience of the business and commitment of my colleagues and I, in delivering on our pledge to sustainably create value for shareholders and our broader ecosystem.

“It has been twenty-five years of meritorious service, as the infrastructure for the Nigerian capital market. We have pioneered a number of initiatives and efficiencies in the market and have enjoyed the best of collaborative engagements with different stakeholders. Whilst we relish our progress working with other stakeholders in transforming the Nigerian capital market, we reckon there is a long way to go in bridging the gap towards our aspiration of positioning the Nigerian capital market as the hub of securities services in Africa and one of the leading capital markets, globally. To this end, we have reinvigorated our strategic thrust with the development of a medium-term playbook that would enhance our capabilities in executing new initiatives towards deepening the Nigerian capital market and strengthening our business growth frontiers for the mutual prosperity of all our stakeholders.”

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