31st October, 2021
By Itohan Abara-Laserian
Zenith Bank Plc has posted a profit before tax (PBT) of N180 billion, for the nine months ended Sept. 30, amid headwinds.
The Group’s unaudited nine months financial results presented to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, on Sunday, in Lagos, has indicated.
The PBT reflected a 1 per cent growth over the N177 billion recorded in the comparative period of 2020, notwithstanding the challenging macroeconomic environment, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also, the results showed a 2 per cent increase in gross earnings to N519 billion from N509 billion recorded in the same period of 2020, attributable to growth in current account maintenance fees, as well as fees from electronic products.
The financial statement also said that despite continuing economic uncertainties, the Group grew its net earnings through a reduction in the cost of funds, while keeping the cost of risk flat, which strengthened earnings per share (EPS) by 1 per cent to N5.11 billion.
Similarly, the Group achieved a 9 per cent growth in interest income from loans and advances on the back of an increase in gross loans of 9 per cent year-to-date and enhanced efficiency, resulting in a 21 per cent drop in interest expense to N74 billion from N94 billion.
It also showed that the growth in net interest income of 4 per cent rose to N235 billion from N225 billion recorded in the comparative period of 2020.
Total assets also increased by 3 per cent to N8.8 trillion in the current period, while total deposits grew by 13 per cent to close at N6.0 trillion from N5.3 trillion as at Dec. 2020, with a substantial contribution from retail deposits, the statement also showed.
As a result of the focused drive to increase retail deposits in the past three years, there was a decrease in the Group’s cost of funds by 35 per cent to 1.4 per cent from 2.2 per cent year-on-year.
For the year’s final quarter, the management’s outlook remained positive, buoyed by a declining inflationary trend, expected increase in foreign exchange inflows, and improvement in oil production, as the Group focused on increasing its retail market share, consolidating its leadership position in the corporate segment and maintaining a robust balance sheet.
In recognition of its track record of excellent performance, Zenith Bank received several awards including being voted as Best Commercial Bank in Nigeria in the World Finance Banking Awards 2021, Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020.
Also, Best Bank in Nigeria in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards 2020 and 2021, and Best in Corporate Governance ‘Financial Services’ Africa 2020 and 2021 by the Ethical Boardroom among many others.