Zenith Bank Excites Shareholders With Dividend Payout of ₦87.9 billion

Zenith Bank Plc excites shareholders as the financial supermarket declared ₦87.9 billion dividend payout from its earnings.

The Board of Directors made this known at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held yesterday in Abuja.

In its recent audited financial statement for 2019, the lender reported profit after tax of ₦208.8 billion.

Traded at ₦12.80, Zenith market capitalisation on Monday was ₦401.875 billion on 31,396,493,786 shares outstanding.

At the meeting, the Bank’s shareholders unanimously approved the proposed final dividend of ₦2.50 per share.

This brought the total dividend payment for the 2019 financial year to ₦2.80 per share with a total value of ₦87.9 billion.

The corporate action followed the recent release of the Bank’s audited financial results for the 2019 financial year.

According to the Chairman, Jim Ovia (CON), the AGM was an opportunity for the bank to engage shareholders on its 2019 financial year performance.

Ovia said: “Zenith Bank is committed to consistently deliver superior returns to our highly esteemed shareholders by ensuring that a good chunk of our profit is set aside for you.

In a clear demonstration of this, we had declared and paid you an interim dividend of 30 kobo per share in the course of the 2019 financial year, Ovia stated.

He said: “We hereby propose a final dividend of ₦2.50 kobo per share. If approved, this will bring the total dividend for the year ended December 31, 2019, to ₦2.80 kobo per share”.

Recall that lender reaffirmed its leading position in the banking industry posting an impressive pre-tax of ₦243 billion.

This represents a 5% increase over the ₦231.6 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2018.

Profit after Tax (PAT) stood at ₦208.8 billion as against ₦193 billion in 2018, an increase of 8% thus making Zenith the first Nigerian bank to cross the ₦200 billion mark.

The bank’s result showed an increase in gross earnings from ₦662 billion to ₦630 billion, indicating strong market dominance.

Lender’s assets grew by 5% from the ₦5.9 trillion to ₦6.3 trillion, driven by 29% increase in non-interest income from ₦179.9 billion to ₦231.1 billion in 2019.

The Bank’s fees on electronic products continue to grow significantly with a 108% Year-on-Year raise from ₦20.4 billion to ₦42.5 billion in 2019.

The management explained that the drive for cheaper retail deposits coupled with the low-interest yield environment helped reduce the cost of funding from 3.1% to 3.0%.

However, this also affected net interest margin, which reduced from 8.9% to 8.2% in the current year due to re-pricing of interest-bearing assets.

“Although returns on equity and assets held steady at 23.8% and 3.4% respectively, the Group still delivered an improved Earnings per Share (EPS) which grew 8% from ₦6.15 to ₦6.65 in 2019”, the management explained.

The Group created new viable risk assets as gross loans grew by 22% from ₦2.016 trillion to ₦2.462 trillion.

This was executed prudently at a low cost of risk of 1.1% and a significant reduction in the non-performing loan ratio from 4.98% to 4.30%.

Prudential ratios such as liquidity and capital adequacy ratios also remained above regulatory thresholds at 57.3% and 22.0% respectively.

Analysts noted this unprecedented feat by a Nigerian Bank as remarkable, and an indication of strong financial leadership and resilience.

As a testament to this superlative performance, the bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria, for the third consecutive year, in the recently released Banker Magazine “Top 500 Banking Brands 2020”.

Also, the Best Bank in Nigeria 2020 in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards 2020 and the Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the Thisday Awards 2020.

In addition, the Bank was also voted as the Best Commercial Bank in Nigeria 2019 by the World Finance and the Best Digital Bank in Nigeria 2019 by Agusto & Co.

Zenith Bank Excites Shareholders With Dividend Payout of ₦87.9 billion

 

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