Shareholders of Zenith Bank Plc have reasons to smile as the bank thursday announced an interim dividend of N7.8 billion for the half year ended June 30, 2017. The dividend, which translates to 25 kobo per share was declared following a profit after tax (PAT) of N75.317 billion reported for the period.
The audited results of Zenith Bank made available by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), show that the bank recorded gross earnings of N380.4 billion, up by 77 per cent from N214.8 billion posted in the corresponding period of 2016.Net interest income stood at N138.962 billion, as against N127 billion in 2016. However, impairment charges increased by 196 per cent from N14.2 billion to N42 billion.
But the bank got a boost from trading and other operating income. While trading income, realised foreign exchange, jumped from negative N864 million to positive N65.318 billion, other operating income similarly soared from N3.567 billion to N15.112 billion in 2017.
Consequently, Zenith Bank Plc ended the period with profit before tax of N92.183 billion, compared with N53.905 billion in 2016. PAT rose from N35.465 billion to N75.5.317 billion. Hence, the directors recommended an interim dividend of 25 kobo per share, just like what was paid in the corresponding period of 2016. Market analysts said given the high level of profitability, the bank would pay a final dividend higher than the N1.77 paid at the end of 2016.
The Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Jim Ovia had told shareholders last March that in line with its commitment to delivering superior returns to its much-valued shareholders, the bank ensured that a good chunk of the profit was set aside for shareholders.
According to him, even in the face of a very challenging operating environment, Zenith Bank has maintained its culture of outstanding performance and industry leadership.
He said: “As a bank, we are monitoring developments both in the local and global economy and applying pragmatism and dynamism as appropriate. Our strategy and approach to the pursuit of financial inclusion and sustainability gives us a lot of competitive advantage to explore even new frontiers in the market.”
Also speaking, Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank, Mr. Peter Amangbo said as an institution of well-primed people, the bank relied on its pool of exceptional staff to make sound and timely decision and addressed issues in a manner that anticipated developments and demonstrated excellent understanding of the dynamics of the market and economy.