C &I Leasing Plc has reiterated plans to embark on a business expansion drive in the near future to increase market share and ensure enhanced returns to shareholders.
The C&I Leasing Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Lenin Ugoji, stated this at the company’s 31st Annual General Meeting for the year ended Dec. 31, 2021 at the weekend in Lagos.
Ugoji said that the business expansion would come in the form of fleet management business due to the inherent opportunities in the fleet management space and in the marine business.
He said that the company would likely acquire vessels for dry product movement in the near future.
“We are looking primarily at operational efficiency because even before you grow a business, you must be operationally fit. Part of what the new management wants to do is to bring about a lot more efficiency to the current operations, while we look at business expansion in a near future. Business expansion will come in the form of fleet management business because we feel that there are many opportunities in that space and in the marine business too but more in the non-oil sector so that we can diversify the risk of oil and gas. Therefore we may look at acquiring vessels in this area for dry product movement,” he said.
Ugoji remarked that the company would continue to support the nation’s infrastructure development.
“Nigeria is moving more and more towards infrastructure development and for a company like C & I Leasing, we believe that we can play a role in that sphere by facilitating such operations. C&I Leasing, is a 32 year old company with so much experience in managing assets. That experience can be brought to bear in supporting Nigeria in that direction”, he added.
“Tax moderation can help, and for a company like ours, we want to expand further to logistics, so that means, we require the right kind of infrastructure that can help us. We thank our shareholders for their patience; we also ask them to give us that support for us to be able to transform some of these initiatives into cogent sustainable benefits for them” he stressed.
Ugoji stated that the company would ensure enhanced returns on investment for shareholders in the years ahead.
He said that the management would remain committed to operational efficiency.
According to him, inflation and other macroeconomic challenges have fundamentally impacted the leasing business in Nigeria directly.
The company’s Chairman, Samuel Maduka Onyishi, said the profit before tax for the Group increased by 9.5 per cent to N542 million during the period under review from N490 million in 2020.
Onyishi said that the company’s core business lines: fleet management, outsourcing and marine services, remained sustainable in the review period.
He said the company would continue to demonstrate a high degree of resilience rising incredibly to the challenging clime by seeking innovative novel technology solutions to propagate its business and revenue against the odds powered by the recent launch of e-business drive and initiative.
“Technology solutions birthed in the year under review include the skill central e-learning platform which was launched by the outsourcing business; 360 Fleet solutions, vehicle monitoring initiative, digitalised marine vessel management solution,” he said.
According to him, the fleet management business has continued to achieve operational efficiency by servicing clients’ needs and reducing downtime.
He noted that a remarkable increase in visibility across wide demography on the digital space was achieved.
“This drive is aimed at reinforcing the company’s over 20 years presence/experience in the Human Resource space and further positioning the outsourcing business in the right trajectory as well as proactively solving the problem of employment, and talent mismatch in the country,” he said.
On the way forward, Onyishi said in 2022, the company is focused on the all-round improvement of the business and the delivery of a sterling and sustainable performance that enhances optimal returns to shareholders
He noted that the Group has identified expanding medical and sales process outsourcing services, digital offerings such as online training, and after-lease services to a broader client base as some of the opportunities arising from the COVID-19 pandemic fallout.
“Your company is buoyed with short to long-term plans to cushion the negative headwinds of 2022. We shall continue our focus on leveraging technology to improve the efficiency of operations and business acquisition based on five pillars: data & analytics, automation, optimising infrastructure, legacy moderation, and cybersecurity.
“Cost management is also key to our short-term plans as we continue to thrive under the unprecedented business clime and seek opportunities to expand into new frontiers,” he said.
Shareholders present at the meeting, however, commended the efforts of the company in adherence to sound corporate governance and proper management of the company’s fleet in the year under review.
The immediate Past Publicity Secretary, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Moses Igbrude, commended the company for giving scholarships to school children in the year under review.
According to him, it is a sign of readiness towards nation building, adding that the shareholders are happy with such development.
Also speaking, the immediate Past President, the Nigerian Shareholders’ Solidarity Association, Chief Timothy Adesiyan, urged the management to that the company to adhere strickly to post-listing requirements to avoid spending money on penalties in the years ahead.
Meanwhile, the gross earnings of the Group declined by seven per cent from N19.4 billion in 2020 to N18.2 billion in 2021 due to the straglling impact of the pandemic.
Its profit after tax stood at N31.2 million from N321 million recorded in the comparative period of 2020.
The Group’s total assets grew by four per cent to N58.1 billion from N55.9 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2020.