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Zenith Bank Nets N230.37bn Profit, Offers N2.70 Final Div

Zenith Bank Plc, on Monday, became the earliest filer of its audited financials for the year ended December 2020, showing a further upsurge in its revenue and net profit, as it moves to retain the toga of the most profitable bank for another year, in a year when the domestic and global economy was ravaged by effects of the lockdown that followed the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The bank’s appreciative directors are rewarding shareholders for the growth, recommending a N2.70 final dividend, which brings total payout for the year to N3.00 per share, compared to N2.50 each in the corresponding period of 2019. Closure of register for the dividend payment is March 8, 2021.

According to the latest result, gross earnings rose by N34.199bn or 5.16% to N696.45bn from N662.251bn, which was outpaced by the 10.38% growth in net profit from N208.693bn in prior year to N230.374bn, translating to Earnings Per Share of N7.34, up from N6.65.

A breakdown of the report showed that interest and similar income was the biggest contributor to gross earnings, accounting for N420.813bn, a mild growth from prior year’s N415.563bn; while Interest and similar expense gulped N121.131bn from N148.532bn reported a year earlier; resulting in Net interest income of N299.682bn, up from N267.031bn.

A further breakdown showed that total income on fees and commission stood at N103.224bn; other operating income amounted to N50.735bn; and trading gains, N121.678bn.

Impairment loss on financial and non-financial instruments increased by 64.5% from N24.032bn in the preceding year, to N39.534bn; leaving Net interest income after impairment loss on financial and non-financial instruments at N260.148bn, compared to N242.999bn.

Net income on fees and commission for the period rose to N79.332bn from N100.106bn, the bulk of which was the N27.078bn fees on electronic products, a decline from N42.511bn; while account maintenance fee rose to N21.988bn, from N19.623bn. Credit related fees dropped from N21.879bn to N13.913bn; just as commission on agency and collection services recorded significant growth N12.472bn, from N4.896bn

Trading gains improved to N121.678bn from N117.798bn; Other operating income soared by N36.519bn or 256.88% from N14.216bn in the preceding full year to N50.735bn. The lion’s share was the foreign currency revaluation gain of N43.441bn, up from N11.54bn, representing “gains realised from the revaluation of foreign currency-denominated assets and liabilities held in the non-trading books.”

Personnel expenses accounted for N79,258bn, up from N77.858bn; just as Operating expenses jumped from N129.453bn to N148,112bn, following which Profit before tax stood at N255.861bn from N243.294bn. Income tax expense however dropped from N34.451bn to N25.296bn ; resulting in Profit for the year after tax of N230.565bn, from N208.843bn.

Zenith Bank also recorded a healthy growth in its balance sheet, with total assets growing by N2.134tr or 33.62% from N6.346tr in the preceding year to N8.481tr; with total loans and advances of N2.779tr, an increase over the previously reported N2.305tr. Total liabilities also improved by N1.958tr, or 36.24%; boosted by customer deposits of N5.339tr, up from N4.262tr. Shareholders’ fund, therefore, grew within the period to N1.117tr from N941.886bn

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