As investors anxiously wait for the results of banks for the year ended December 2012, THISDAY can report that shareholders in Zenith Bank would enjoy dividend increase of over 30 per cent. The bank had last year paid a dividend of 95 kobo per share for the 2011 financial, which was an increase of 11 per cent from 85 kobo paid the previous year.
Directors of the bank had two weeks ago met to consider the 2012 accounts and also recommend dividends for the shareholders.
THISDAY checks revealed that following the impressive performance of the bank in 2012, the directors decided at the meeting to reward shareholders with increased dividends.
“The board of the bank has met, looked at the results and has made their dividend recommendation. The accounts are with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for approval and what I can tell you is that shareholders should expect an increase of over 30 per cent in dividends for the 2012 financial year,” a source told THISDAY last Friday.
Zenith Bank had in the nine-month ended September 30, 2012, given indication of a bounteous harvest with impressive results. The bank ended the nine months with profit before tax of N75 billion and profit after tax of N64 billion.
Commenting on the results last year, Group Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, said: “Our results for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 were strong as we sustained our culture of superior performance driven essentially by our people, technology and excellent customer services. With gross earnings and PBT of over N229 billion and N75 billion respectively, Zenith Bank continues to generate premium value and returns to all stakeholders. “
He had said the bank had sustained improvements in its net interest margin (NIM) year on year as well as quarter on quarter notwithstanding the very competitive business environment brought about by the liquidity tightening measures instituted by the CBN in the course of the year.
“The group’s balance sheet remains robust with total assets in excess of N2.45trillion as at September 30, 2012. Liquidity and capital adequacy remained at very comfortable levels of 60.4 per cent and 29.1 per cent respectively giving us enough latitude to continue to play a significant role the money market while being able to withstand any systemic shocks. Our loan book continued to grow whilst ensuring that our cost of risk and NPL remained below industry average. Given the available micro-economic indices we are very confident that we would be able to sustain this strong performance and growth trend into the fourth quarter of the year,” Emefiele said.