C & I Leasing Plc says it will continue to leverage technology to improve operational efficiency and business acquisition for enhanced growth and development.
The Chairman of the company, Samuel Onyishi, said this while addressing shareholders at the company’s 32nd Annual General Meeting, AGM, in Lagos for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2022.
Onyishi said the company would embrace data & analytics, automation, optimised infrastructure, legacy modernisation and cyber-security.
He said the company would continually consolidate past achievements and seek opportunities to expand its operations and market frontiers.
Onyishi noted that the board has laid down solid foundation for growth, expansion, and diversification, which is already yielding results.
“In 2023, our organisation is focused on achieving all round improvement in the business and delivering a sterling and sustainable performance that enhances optimal returns to shareholders.
“Despite the challenges faced in 2022, our company has emerged stronger and more resilient, thanks to the collective efforts of all staff, management, audit committee and the board,” Onyishi said.
Also speaking, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of C&I Leasing, Ugoji Lenin Ugoji, said the company would pay cash dividend to shareholders in 2024.
“We know that it has been quite some time since we rewarded shareholders.
“The most important factor for 2024 is going to be the foreign exchange because we think the foreign exchange has an impact on all the other aspect.
“Getting the foreign exchange under control, will help inflation rate, which will impact our business,” Ugoji said.
He, however, commended the Federal Government’s decision to set up tax special committee to look into issues around taxation for businesses in Nigeria.
Ugoji explained that government’s intervention in taxation was needed for business growth.
He stated that involvement in marine business was the primary hedge for C & l Leasing against fluctuation in the exchange rate.
The CEO said only about 15 per cent of the company’s liabilities were in dollar.
He said that the major challenge faced by the company in 2022 was the instability in interest rate.
“The major thing we have accomplished is being able to keep our staff because there has been a significant attrition of qualified staff in the country, there is an exodus of professionals in Nigeria, and our business is such that requires those that have skill.
“We have been able to maintain a large part of our contract,” he said.
Shareholders present at the meeting commended the board and management of the company for the performance in the year under review.
The President, Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Bisi Bakare, said the company’s performance for 2022 was highly commendable and urged the board to do more in the coming year.
The National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Moses Igbrude, urged the management to ensure payment of dividend to shareholders in 2024.
Another shareholder, Timothy Adesina, urged the company to be careful about cyber fraud.
During the year under review, the group’s gross earnings decreased slightly by one per cent from N18.2 billion in 2021 to N17.9 billion in 2022.
The company’s profit before tax increased by 216 per cent from N198.5 million in 2021 to N626.8 million in 2022.
Similarly, the group’s profit after tax rose by 1,746 per cent from N31.2 million profit recorded in 2021 to N577.3 million profit in 2022.
The company’s profit after tax increased by 257 per cent from N196.2 million loss in 2021 to a N307.7 million in the year under review.
Also, the group’s total assets decreased by one per cent from N58.1 billion in 2021 to N57.8 billion in 2022.
However, the company’s total assets also declined by one per cent from N48.0 billion in 2021 to N47.5 billion in 2022.
Interestingly, the group’s shareholders’ fund grew slightly by 21 per cent from N13.9 billion in 2021 to N16.2 billion in 2022.