VENTURES AFRICA – Nigeria leading financial institution, Zenith Bank Plc. affirmed its leadership position in the nation’s banking industry as it became the first to cross the N100 billion ($630.9 million) Profit After Tax (PAT) mark in a financial year.
According to audited reports on the floors of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Zenith Bank recorded a N100.68 billion ($634 million) Profit after tax (PAT) for the financial year ended 2012, representing a 106.7 percent jump from the N48.70 billion ($303.2 million) recorded in the corresponding period in 2011.
Zenith, which is Nigeria’s third largest lender by market value, also declared a N102.10 billion ($643.5m) Profit Before Tax (PBT) for the financial year ended December 2012, signifying a 51.4 percent increase from the N67.44 billion ($422.9m) recorded in 2011.
Results showed that gross earnings rose by 25.88 percent from N243.94bn ($1.5 billion) to N307.08 billion ($1.9 billion) as loans and advances climbed 10 percent to 1 trillion naira. The bank’s cost-to-income ratio fell to 54 percent from 63 percent.
“Amid the challenging business environment witnessed in 2012, notably the restrictive monetary policies and the double- digit headline inflation rates, Zenith bank delivered yet another year of strong performance,” Chief Executive Officer Godwin Emefiele said in the statement.
According to Emefiele, “Efficiency in our operations led to the significant improvement in our cost-to- income ratio.”
With its total non-performing credit facilities to total credit facilities currently standing at 3 per cent from the 6 per cent recorded last year; the result has also shown the bank’s commitment to prudent debt management.
According to a statement released by the bank, “The much expected result confirms the bank’s leadership position in the industry as it became the first to cross the N100 billion profit after tax mark in a financial year.”
“The result also showed the bank is maintaining its leadership position on other parameters with total assets plus contingents of N2.60 trillion, representing a 12.7 percent increase over the N2.30 trillion recorded in 2011.”
Meanwhile, Zenith Banks’ Board of Directors are proposing a dividend payout of N1.60 per share.
Zenith Bank, Nigeria’s largest bank by tier-1 capital and shareholder funds, recently listed $850 million worth of shares on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) at $6.80 each in a major step to improve liquidity in its stock through Global Depository Receipts (GDR). With these, Zenith Bank is the largest of any Nigerian bank on the LSE to date.
Asides Nigeria, Zenith bank has subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, Ghana, Sierra Leone and The Gambia as well as representative offices in South Africa and China.