Zenith Bank plc on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has announced four per cent increase in profit before tax in its audited result and accounts for the half year (H1) ended June 30, 2019.
The financial institution in its accounts to NSE on Monday reported N111.7 billion profit before tax in H1 2019 from N107.4 billion in H1 2017.
Consequently, profit for the period grew by 8.7 per cent to N88.9 billion in H1 2019 from N81.7 billion reported in H1 2018.
The lender also report about three per cent increase in gross earnings to N331.6 billion in H1 2019 as against N322.2billion reported in H1 2018.
Despite the economy challenges in the period under review, the management of Zenith Bank for the second consecutive year proposed N0.30 dividend payout to shareholders.
Zenith Bank grew total assets, attributable to improved total liabilities and total equity. The group’s total assets grew by 12.2 per cent to N5.9 trillion as at June 30, 2019 from N5.26trillion reported in full year ended December 31, 2018.
The group’s total liabilities also gained 11.9 per cent to N5.08trillion as at June 30, 2019 from N4.54trillion reported in 2018.
The management of Zenith Bank in a statement, said,“Gross earnings grew by three per cent from N322.2 billion to N331.6 billion driven by a significant growth of 24per cent (YoY) in non-interest income from N88.6 billion in H1 2018 to N109.7 billion in H1 2019. In particular, fees from electronic products increased by N17billion (168per cent) from N10billion in H1 2018 to N27 in H1 2019, demonstrating significant progress in our retail banking initiatives.
“This topline growth filtered through to the bottom-line as Profit Before Tax (PBT) increased to N111.7 billion reflecting a four per cent growth over N107.4 billion reported in H1 2018 with earnings per share (EPS) increasing by nine per cent to N2.83 in H1 2019 from N2.60 compared to the prior period.
“Between December 2018 and June 2019, the Group’s total deposit increased by three per cent with retail deposits growing by N267 billion (31per cent), from N861 billion to close at N1.1 trillion.
“Despite the growth in our deposit base, we optimized interest expense leading to a four per cent reduction from N74.7 billion to N72.1 billion due to the Group’s improved funding mix and our profound treasury management skills.
“Net Interest Margins (NIMs) witnessed a compression from 10per cent in the same period last year to 8.6per cent in H1 2019, as a result of the declining yield environment but cost of funds improved from 3.4per cent to three per cent
“Our robust risk management ensured that our absolute Gross Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) remained flat. However, the marginal movement in NPL ratio was as a result of the three per cent reduction in our loan book from N2.02 trillion as at December 2018 to N1.95 trillion at the end of the period.
“We are creatively deploying new retail loan products to ensure we capture a reasonable share of the retail loan market. We remain committed to maintaining our strong balance sheet with liquidity ratio at 74.6per cent and Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) at 25per cent, ensuring we remain above regulatory thresholds.
“Going into the second half of the year, we will continue to consolidate our leadership in the corporate space while our retail banking drive will continue unabated. We expect to see an improvement in economic activities even as we maintain our promise of delivering a unique service experience to our customers.”