Equity Group shareholders celebrated a windfall at the company's 20th Annual General Meeting (AGM) after overwhelmingly approving a record-breaking Sh. 15.1 billion dividend payout for the second consecutive year.

This generous distribution translates to a payout ratio of 36 per cent, a significant increase from the previous year's 33.6 per cent.

The decision reflects the Group's commitment to rewarding its investors despite a challenging economic climate.

"This payout depicts a sustained return to shareholders amid an operating environment that's grappling with volatility marked by inflation, widespread currency depreciation, and interest rate hikes," stated James Mwangi, the Group's Managing Director and CEO.

The robust Sh. 43.7 billion Profit After Tax for the year allowed for a substantial dividend per share of Sh4, representing an attractive 11.9 per cent dividend yield based on the 2023 year-end closing share price. This translates to a remarkable 800 per cent return on par value.

Beyond the generous dividend, the AGM also witnessed significant structural changes for the Group.

Shareholders greenlit the creation of the Equity Group Employee Share Ownership Programme (EGH ESOP) Trust Deed and Scheme Rules, allocating 5 per cent of the share capital to employee ownership.

This move signifies the company's commitment to fostering a culture of shared success within its workforce.

Furthermore, the Group received approval to establish a dedicated banking holding company, consolidating activities across all its banking subsidiaries in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

This restructuring paves the way for a more streamlined and efficient banking operation.

The company will now operate under four distinct groups – Banking, Insurance, Technology, and Foundation.

This strategic reorganization positions Equity Group as a diversified leader across various financial and social impact sectors, solidifying its position as an employer of choice in its diverse markets.

The AGM's decisions underscore Equity Group's unwavering commitment to shareholder value, employee engagement, and long-term growth, even amidst a volatile economic landscape.