As a testament to its resilience and market leadership, Zenith Bank Plc has announced its unaudited results for the nine months period ended September 30, 2021, with a profit before tax (PBT) of N180 billion.
This represented a one per cent growth over the N177 billion recorded in the same period the previous year, amidst a challenging macroeconomic environment exacerbated by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to the group’s unaudited nine months financial results presented to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) at the weekend, gross earnings increased by two per cent from N509 billion to N519 billion, largely due to growth in current account maintenance fees as well as fees from electronic products during the period.
Despite continuing economic uncertainties, the Group, according to a statement, grew its net earnings through reduction in its cost of funds while keeping the cost of risk flat. This strengthened its earnings per share (EPS) by one per cent to N5.11. The Group achieved a nine per cent growth in interest income from loans and advances on the back of an increase in gross loans of nine per cent year-to-date and enhanced efficiency, resulting in a 21 per cent drop in interest expense to N74 billion from N94 billion.
This culminated in growth in net interest income of four per cent, from the N225 billion recorded at the end of the third quarter of 2020, to N235 billion in the current period.
Also, its total assets increased by three per cent to N8.8 trillion in the current period, while total deposits grew by 13 per cent to close at N6 trillion, from N5.3 trillion as at December 31, 2020, with a substantial contribution from retail deposits.
As a result of the bank’s focused drive to increase retail deposits in the past three years, there was a decrease in the Group’s cost of funds by 35 per cent to 1.4 per cent, from 2.2 per cent year-on-year.
The Group continues to make significant progress in its retail banking drive, as evidenced by remarkable growth in transaction volumes and value across its digital platforms and strong growth in customer acquisition.
According to the statement, in the year’s final quarter, management’s outlook remained positive, buoyed by a declining inflationary trend, expected increase in foreign exchange inflows, and improving oil production.
“The Group remains focused on increasing its retail market share, consolidating its leadership position in the corporate segment and maintaining a robust balance sheet,” it stated.
In recognition of its track record of excellent performance, Zenith Bank was voted as Best Commercial Bank in Nigeria in the World Finance Banking Awards 2021, Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020, Best Bank in Nigeria in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards 2020 and 2021, and Best in Corporate Governance ‘Financial Services’ Africa 2020 and 2021 by the Ethical Boardroom. Also, the Bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands 2020 and 2021, and Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital in the “2021 Top 1000 World Banks” Ranking by The Banker Magazine. In 2020, Zenith Bank was honoured as Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020, Retail Bank of the year at the BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Awards, and Best Company in Promotion of Good Health and Well-Being as well as Best Company in Promotion of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment at the Sustainability, Enterprise, and Responsibility (SERAS) Awards.
“For over three decades, Zenith Bank has distinguished itself in the Nigerian financial services industry through superior service offerings, unique customer experience, and sound economic indices.
“The bank remains a clear leader in the digital space with several firsts in deploying innovative products, solutions, and an assortment of alternative channels that ensure convenience, speed, and safety of transactions,” it added.