By Ndubuisi FrancisÂ in Abuja
Zenith Bank Plc posted a profit before tax (PBT) of N174 billion in 2017, representing a 24 per cent increase overÂ the N140 billion recorded in 2016 even as the bank’s total deposits grew by eight per cent, from N2.55 trillion in 2016 to N2.74 trillion in 2017.
Shareholders’ fund equally rose by 15 per cent from N616 billion in 2016 to N708 billion in the year under review, while gross earnings also grew by 48 per cent from N455 billion in 2016 to N674 billion in 2017.Â
Speaking at the 27th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Abuja yesterday, the bank’s Chairman, Mr Jim Ovia, noted that despite the challenging operating environment, it posted an improved performance in its financial results.
Ovia described the impressive financial results as a practical expression of the durability and resilience of the zenith Bank brand.
He said: “The year 2017 was no doubt a very challenging year for operators in the banking industry due to a number of domestic and external factors. However, true to our track record, Zenith Bank was able to fully exploit the opportunities within the environment.
“This translated into an excellent performance that stands as a testament of the durability and resilience of the brand. Clearly, the results are, once again, a reflection of the exceptional financial health of the bank and the group.”
Â In his address, the Group Managing Director of the bank, Mr Peter Amangbo, said the management had made progress in the vision to entrench sustainability in its operations, adding thatÂ as technology becomes the focus of financialÂ service delivery, the bank would continue to offer outstanding financial solutions that would be “anchored on a superb combination of technology and human touch for easy, fast and secure banking.”
Providing an insight into the outlook for the 2018 financial year, Amangbo said, “The succeeding year will be challenging from the perspective of competition which traditionally evokes the best in us. Also, the year will come with its challenges and opportunities considering the highly competitive nature of the Nigerian market, the dynamics of contemporary service provision and variable customer expectations.
As a strategy towards mitigating the impact of the challenging environment, the Zenith Bank group chief executive said the management of the bank would increase the quality of its engagement and be more proactive by anticipating fluctuations in the economy and markets.
Based on the performance of the bank, its shareholders gave their nod to the proposal of the board to pay a final dividend of N2.45k per share as dividend for the 2017 financial year. The approval of the N2.45k brings the total amount paid as dividend per share by the bank to N2.70k, following an interim dividend of 25 kobo per share paid during the 2017 financial period.
Many of the shareholders who spoke at the event commended the bank for delivering on its promise for better dividend payment. They said despite the challenges faced by operators in the industry, the bank was still able to grow profit and assets during the 2017 financial period.