Zenith Bank Plc has announced its audited results for the Half Year (H1) ended June 30, 2019, recording Profit Before Tax (PBT) of N111.7 billion, representing a 4 per cent rise over ₦107.4 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2018.
Specifically, the bank’s audited accounts showed a three per cent rise in gross earnings from ₦322.2 billion to ₦331.6 billion.
A statement from the bank said growth in gross earnings was driven by a significant increase of 24 per cent year-on-year (YoY) in non-interest income from ₦88.6 billion in H1 2018 to ₦109.7 billion in 2019.
The bank said fees from electronic products increased by ₦17 billion (168 per cent) from ₦10 billion in H1 2018 to ₦27 billion a year on, demonstrating significant progress in its retail banking initiatives. the statement read in part: “This top-line growth filtered through to the bottom-line as Profit Before Tax (PBT) increased to ₦111.7 billion reflecting a four per cent growth over ₦107.4 billion reported in H1 2018 with earnings per share (EPS) increasing by nine per cent to ₦2.83 in H1 2019 from ₦2.60 compared to the prior period.
“As a testament to its commitment to its shareholders, the bank also announced a proposed interim dividend pay-out of 30 kobo per share. Between December 2018 and June 2019, the group’s total deposit increased by three per cent with retail deposits growing by ₦267 billion (31 per cent), from ₦861 billion to close at ₦1.1 trillion.
“Despite the growth in our deposit base, we optimized interest expense leading to a four per cent reduction from ₦74.7 billion to ₦72.1 billion due to the Group’s improved funding mix and our profound treasury management skills. “Net Interest Margins (NIMs) witnessed compression from 10 per cent in the same period last year to 8.6 per cent in H1 2019, as a result of the declining yield environment but cost of funds improved from 3.4 per cent to 3.0 per cent.”
The bank explained that its robust risk management ensured that that the Gross Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) remained flat, adding that the marginal movement in NPL ratio was as a result of the three per cent reduction in its loan book from ₦2.02 trillion as at December 2018 to ₦1.95 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 74.6 per cent and Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) at 25 per 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.”