Zenith Bank’s earnings surge to N674bn despite economic headwinds
Zenith Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s Tier 1 commercial lenders has reported a 48 percent growth in its gross earnings from N455 billion in 2016 to N674 billion in 2017 despite headwinds in Nigeria’s economy.
The banks Profit before Tax rose by 24 percent from N140 billion in 2016 to N174 billion in 2017 while Profit After Tax similarly rose by 32 percent, from N119 billion to N157 billion.
During the same period, total assets of the bank grew by 13 percent from N4.28 trillion to N4.83 trillion while shareholders fund rose by 15percent from N616 billion to N708 billion.
Zentih Bank Chairman, Jim Ovia told shareholders at the weekend that the bank “was able to fully exploit the opportunities within the environment,” which “translated into an excellent performance that stands as a testament to the durability and resilience of the board.”
“The 2017 results are once again a reflection of the exceptional financial health of the bank and the group,” he stated at the bank’s Annual General Meeting in Abuja.
According to Ovia, the bank’s total deposits stood at N2.74 trillion for the year ended December 31, 2017, representing an 8 percent increase over the previous year’s figure of N2.55 trillion.
As shown in the audited accounts of the bank, Zenith bank group also showed an impressive performance as profit before tax grew by 30 percent from N157 billion in 2016 to N203 billion in 2017. Profit After Tax thus grew by 37 percent during the period from N130 billion in 2016 to N178 billion in 2017.
The group’s total assets also rose by 18 percent from N4.7 trillion in 2016 to N5.6 trillion in 2017, while customers’ deposits grew by 15 percent during the same period from N2.98 trillion to N3.44 trillion.
Group shareholders’ fund also grew by 17 percent from N704 billion in 2016 to N822 billion in 2017; while gross earnings similarly grew by 47 percent from N508 billion in 2016 to N745 billion in 2017.
“Clearly, the results are, once again, is a reflection of the exceptional financial health of the bank and the Group,” said Ovia at the meeting where shareholders applauded the bank’s management and board for the achievements despite huge challenges.
Ovia said the bank is committed to delivering superior returns to its shareholders. Consequently, the bank declared and paid an interim dividend of 25kobo per share in the course of the 2017 financial year.
At the meeting, the board proposed a final dividend of 245 kobo per share, which was approved by shareholders, bringing the total dividend for the year ended December 31, 2017 to 270 kobo per share as against 202 kobo per share declared the previous year.
The Chairman also reminded the shareholders that their banks remained the biggest corporate social responsibility (CSR) contributor in the Nigerian financial services industry.
He said the bank’s sustainability and corporate social responsibility initiatives are hinged on the belief that today’s business performance is not all about the financial numbers, as the bank believes that institutions’ social investments, contributions to inclusive economic growth and development as well as improvements in the condition of the physical environment, all constitute what he called, the balanced scorecard.
He equally announced that as a leader in the digital space, with an unwavering determination for raising benchmarks and setting the pace, in financial technology, the bank has invested immensely in new technologies and digital solutions within the last financial year.
He said the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) beckons in Africa, is “to continually create innovative solutions that ensure convenience, speed and safety of transactions for our teeming customers.”
“In clear demonstration of our commitment to the ideals and tenets of corporate sustainability and responsibility principles, hinged on the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit, the Bank, in the course of the year, made donations towards the setting up of ICT centres in several educational institutions across the country,” he added.
Peter Amangbo, Zenith bank’s Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who also addressed shareholders said “year 2017 gave vent to the efficacy of zenith bank’s collaborative culture and teamwork model in a manner that has clearly berthed our market leadership.”
This he said “is a result of an apposite deployment of a sustainable mix of human capital, digital solutions and unparalleled customer service.”
Amangbo announced that Zenith bank “institutionalized a procedure of regularly assessing our processes and practices in line with global best practices and variations in corporate governance environment.”
He said as a result, the bank “was recognized as the Best corporate governance bank in Nigeria by the World Finance for the fifth time.
He equally stated that the bank has made appreciable progress in entrenching sustainable ideals in its operations and sphere of influence.”
“”Central of what we stand for is a steadfast commitment to continually delight our customers,” Amangbo further stated.
Onyinye Nwachukwu, Abuja
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