With a significant progress in its retail banking initiatives, Zenith Bank Plc. climbed on earnings from electronic products to report Profit Before Tax (PBT) of N111.7 billion in the first half of 2019.
The PBT reported for the review period is 4percent growth over the N107.4 billion reported in H1 2018. The lender’s fees from electronic products increased by N17billion (168%) from N10billionn in H1 2018 to N27billion in H1 2019.
In a clear demonstration of its resilience and strong market share, Zenith Bank’s audited results for the half year ended 30 June 2019, witnessed positive growth across key financial metrics, thus affirming the bank’s position as one of the leading financial institutions in Africa.
Gross earnings grew by 3percent from N322.2 billion to N331.6 billion driven by a significant growth of 24percent (YoY) in non-interest income from N88.6 billion in the previous year to N109.7 billion in H1 2019.
The bank’s earnings per share (EPS) increasing by 9percent to N2.83 billion in H1 2019 from N2.60 billion in comparable period of 2018.
Between December 2018 and June 2019, the Group’s total deposit increased by 3percent with retail deposits growing by N267 billion (31%), from N861 billion to close at N1.1 trillion.
According to the GSM Association, Sub-Saharan Africa has more mobile-money accounts than anywhere else in the world with about 396 million registered users at the end of 2018, a 14percent increase from a year earlier. As it catches on around the world, South Asia saw 29 percent growth in 2018, and it was 38percent for East Asia and the Pacific.
“Despite the growth in our deposit base, we optimized interest expense leading to a 4percent reduction from N74.7 billion to N72.1 billion due to the Group’s improved funding mix and our profound treasury management skills. Net Interest Margins (NIMs) witnessed a compression from 10percent in the same period last year to 8.6percent in H1 2019, as a result of the declining yield environment but cost of funds improved from 3.4percent to 3.0percent” the lender said.
According to the group, its robust risk management ensured that it absolute Gross Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) remained flat. However, the marginal movement in NPL ratio was as a result of the 3percent reduction in its loan book from N2.02 trillion as at December 2018 to N1.95 trillion at the end of the period.
“We are creatively deploying new retail loan products to ensure we capture a reasonable share of the retail loan market. We remain committed to maintaining our strong balance sheet with liquidity ratio at 74.6percent and Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) at 25percent, ensuring we remain above regulatory thresholds.”
Going into the second half of the year, the bank said it will continue to consolidate its leadership in the corporate space while its retail banking drive will continue unabated. “We expect to see an improvement in economic activities even as we maintain our promise of delivering a unique service experience to our customers.”
Consistent with this superlative performance and in recognition of its track record of excellent performance, the bank was recently ranked as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in 2018 by The Banker Magazine.
Similarly, Zenith Bank was recognized as the Best Corporate Governance Bank in Nigeria by The World Finance for the sixth time just as Ethical Boardroom, a Europe based Boardroom watchdog reaffirmed this recognition by naming the bank as the Best Bank in Corporate Governance in 2018. Recognition has also come the way of the bank as it was recently named as the Best Institution in Sustainability Reporting in Africa 2018 (SERAS Awards) and the Bank of the Year 2018 (BusinessDay).
There are a lot of partnership opportunities with immense revenue potential for both mobile-network operators and banks,” Patrick Quantson, head of digital transformation at the Accra-based unit of Standard Bank Group Ltd., Africa’s largest lender, said in a statement.