Zenith Bank Plc yesterday announced an interim dividend of N9.42 billion for the half year (H1) ended June 30, 2018, following the release of the bank’s results.
The dividend, which translates to 30 kobo per share, is higher than the N7.5 billion or 25 kobo paid in the corresponding period of 2017.
According to notification to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the interim dividend would be paid to shareholders whose names appear on the bank’s register on August 17, while payment would be made on August 24, 2018.
The N9.42 billion interim dividends would be paid from a profit after tax (PAT) of N81.7 billion recorded by for the H1, up from N75.3 billion in 2017.
Zenith Bank Plc posted gross earnings of N322.2 billion in 2018, down from N380.4 billion in 2017. Net interest income stood at N154 billion compared with 139 billion in 2017.
Impairment charges fell from N42.4 billion to N9.7 billion, while non-interest income reduced from N118.2 billion to N93.5 billion.
Profit before tax improved from N92.2 billion to N107.4 billion, while PAT stood at N81.7 billion, compared with N75.3 billion in 2017.
Market operators said with higher interim dividend, shareholders should expect a higher final dividend at the end of the year. The bank had paid a total dividend of N2.70 per share for 2017.
The Chairman of the bank, Mr. Jim Ovia, had told shareholders at the annual general(AGM) last despite the challenging operating environment, the bank was able to achieve improved performance in its financial results in 2017.
He said profit before tax rose by 24 per cent from N140bn in 2016 to N174bn in 2017, while total assets of the bank grew by 13 per cent from N4.28tn in 2016 to N4.83tn in 2017.
“This translated into an excellent performance that stands as a testament to 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,” he said.
Speaking in the same vein, the Group Managing Director, Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Peter Amangbo, said the management of the bank had made progress in its vision to entrench sustainability in its operations.
He had 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.