Home » Nigerian gambling magnate-backed bank posts $27.2-million profit in 2023

Nigerian gambling magnate-backed bank posts $27.2-million profit in 2023

Wema Bank proposes dividend payout

by Omokolade Ajayi
Kessington Adebutu

Wema Bank, a leading financial services provider partly owned by renowned Nigerian gambling magnate Kessington Adebutu, achieved unprecedented financial success in its 2023 fiscal year, with profits skyrocketing above $27 million.

This surge, driven by exponential growth in interest and fee income, coupled with substantial gains from foreign exchange revaluations, solidified the bank’s position as a powerhouse in the Nigerian banking sector.

According to the group’s recently released financial results, its profits skyrocketed by 217 percent, leaping from N11.35 billion ($8.52 million) in 2022 to N35.99 billion ($27.2 million). Driving this remarkable profit surge was a substantial increase in interest income, which rose from N108.04 billion ($81.2 million) in 2022 to N185.64 billion ($139.15 million) in 2023.

Additionally, fee and commission income witnessed a sharp rise from N16.59 billion ($12.43 million) in 2022 to N24.96 billion ($18.7 million). The group’s earnings also saw significant gains from foreign exchange revaluation, totaling N13.6 billion ($10.2 million), up from N1.59 billion ($1.2 million) the previous year.

Adebutu’s backing and Wema Bank’s financial growth

Wema Bank, recognized as one of Nigeria’s leading indigenous banks, has been at the forefront of innovation in the financial sector. The bank’s pioneering efforts include the launch of Africa’s first fully digital bank, ALAT. With decades of experience and resilience, Wema Bank remains a cornerstone of Nigeria’s financial landscape.

In recent years, the lender owes part of its success to the strategic backing of Kessington Adebutu. The renowned businessman, who is the founder and CEO of Nigeria’s oldest gaming company, Premier Lotto Limited, owns a 28.09-percent stake in Wema Bank through Neemtree Limited, a special purpose vehicle incorporated in 2013 to acquire shares in targeted organizations. Additionally, Adebutu’s daughter, Abolanle Matel-Okoh, holds a 4.54-percent stake in the financial institution.

The bank’s robust financial performance in 2023 propelled its assets from N1.44 trillion ($1.076 billion) as of Dec. 31, 2022, to N2.25 trillion ($1.69 billion) by Dec. 31, 2023. Its retained earnings surged from N11.45 billion ($8.55 million) to N36.59 billion ($27.33 billion), further solidifying its position as one of Nigeria’s most profitable financial service providers.

Wema Bank proposes dividend payout

Buoyed by its fiscal strength, Wema Bank’s board of directors has proposed a dividend of N0.50 ($0.000375) per share to be distributed from the retained earnings account. This aligns with the requirements stipulated in the CBN circular on Internal Capital generation and dividend payout ratio, showcasing the bank’s commitment to rewarding its shareholders amidst its exceptional financial performance.

Wema Bank’s outstanding fiscal achievements in 2023 underscore its resilience, innovation, and unwavering commitment to excellence within the Nigerian banking sector. With a solid foundation and strategic partnerships, the bank continues to pave the way for sustainable growth and success in the ever-evolving financial landscape.

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