EHIME ALEX, Lagos
Zenith Bank Plc has reported impressive result of N208.8 billion profit after tax (PAT) for the year ended December 31, 2019, as the first Nigerian Bank to cross N200 billion mark.
This is according to the bank’s audited financial report for the 2019 financial year announced on Friday in Lagos.
The result shows that the bank’s profit after tax rose by 8 per cent to N208.8 billion from N193 billion recorded in the previous year.
It also shows that the Group recorded a growth in gross earnings of 5 per cent of N662.3 billion from N630.3 billion reported in the previous year.
The result indicated that the growth was driven by 29 per cent increase in the non-interest income from N179.9 billion in 2018 to N231.1 billion in 2019.
Fees on electronic products grew significantly with a 108 per cent year-on-year (YoY) from N20.4 billion in 2018 to N42.5 billion in the current year, a validation of the bank’s retail transformation strategy which continues to deliver impressive results.
Its profit before tax increased also by 5 per cent from N232 billion to N243 billion in the review year, which indicated a arise from topline growth and continued focus on cost optimisation strategies, while its cost-to-income ratio moderated from 49.3 per cent to 48.8 per cent.
The bank stated that the drive for cheaper retail deposits coupled with the low interest yield environment helped it reduce the cost of funding from 3.1 per cent to 3.0 per cent.
This however affected its net interest margin which reduced from 8.9 per cent to 8.2 per cent in the review year due to re-pricing of interest bearing assets.
Although, returns on equity and assets held steadily YoY at 23.8 per cent and 3.4 per cent respectively, the bank delivered still an improved Earnings Per Share (EPS) of 8 per cent from N6.15 to N6.65 in the current year.
As it secured increased customer deposits across the corporate and retail space, the Group increased its share of the market as deposits grew by 15 per cent to close at N4.26 trillion. Total assets increased also by 7 per cent from N5.96 trillion to N6.35 trillion.
The Group created new viable risk assets as gross loans grew by 22 per cent from N2.016 billion to N2.462 billion.
This it said was executed prudently at a low cost of risk of 1.1 per cent and a significant reduction in the non-performing loan ratio from 4.98 per cent to 4.30 per cent.
Prudential ratios such as liquidity and capital adequacy ratios, the result shows remained above regulatory thresholds at 57.3 per cent and 22.0 per cent respectively.
The bank said that in 2020, the Group remains strategically positioned to capture the opportunities in the corporate and retail segments, while efficiently managing costs and expanding further its retail franchise employing digital assets and innovation.
Consistent with its superlative performance and in recognition of its track record of excellent performance, Zenith Bank was voted as the Best Commercial Bank in Nigeria 2019 by the World Finance and the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria 2019 by The Banker.
The Bank was also recognized as Bank of the Year and Best Bank in Retail Banking at the 2019 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Awards, and was ranked as the Best Digital Bank in Nigeria 2019 by Agusto & Co.
Most recently, the Bank emerged as the Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the Thisday Awards 2020.