Zenith Bank MD/CEO, Ebenezer Onyeagwu
By Our Reporter
Zenith Bank Plc has announced its unaudited results for the nine months ended 30 September 2021, with Gross Earnings rising by 2% from NGN509 billion recorded in the same period in 2020 to NGN519 billion, amidst the persistent challenging macroeconomic environment which was exacerbated by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to the Group’s unaudited nine months financial results presented to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX), the growth in gross earnings was largely due to an increase in current account maintenance fees and fees from electronic products during the period. Profit Before Tax (PBT) also rose to NGN180 billion, reflecting a 1% growth over the NGN177 billion recorded in the same period in the previous year.
Despite continuing economic uncertainties, the Group was able to grow its net earnings through a reduction in its cost of funds while keeping the cost of risk flat. This strengthened Earnings Per Share (EPS) by 1% to NGN5.11. The Group achieved a 9% growth in interest income from loans and advances on the back of an increase in gross loans of 9% year to date and enhanced efficiency, culminating in a 21% drop in interest expense to NGN74 billion from NGN94 billion.This resulted in the growth in net interest income of 4%, from NGN225 billion recorded at the end of Q3 2020 to NGN235 billion in the current period.
Total assets also increased by 3% to NGN8.8 trillion in the current period, while total deposits grew by 13% to close at NGN6.0 trillion from NGN5.3 trillion as at 31 December 2020, with a substantial contribution from retail deposits.
As a result of the focused drive to increase retail deposits in the past three years, there was a decrease in The Group’s cost of funds by 35% to 1.4% from 2.2% 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.
For the final quarter of the year, management’s outlook remains 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.
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 theSustainability, 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.