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Foreign revenue grows by 17% as Zenith Bank declares N78bn dividend for shareholders

Shareholders of Zenith Bank Plc will earn N78 billion or N2.50 per share as the final dividend for the year ended December 31, 2019, the Nigerian lender has announced. Subject to approval and the appropriate withholding tax, the final dividend will be paid electronically on March 16, 2020.

Earlier, the bank had paid N0.30 per share interim dividend, meaning that the total dividend paid to shareholders is N2.80 per share, bringing the total to N87.9 billion.

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As the news filtered into the market, investors overbid Zenith Bank’s shares, leading to the trading of 112.48 million shares last Friday, worth N2.24 billion. The bank’s share price per unit rallied by 2.32 percent, resulting in a year to date gain of 6.7 percent. It closed last Friday at N19.40 per share.

Gross revenue from Nigeria grew by 4.88 percent from N548.32 billion in 2018 to N575.08 billion in 2019, implying that 86 percent of Zenith Bank’s revenue was made in Nigeria. Revenue from other African countries remained flat at N68.23 billion in 2019 as against N68.55 billion in 2018, translating to 10 percent of the bank’s revenue.

“The Bank has six subsidiary companies namely, Zenith Bank (Ghana) Limited, Zenith Pensions Custodian Limited, Zenith Bank (UK) Limited, Zenith Bank (Sierra Leone) Limited, Zenith Bank (The Gambia) Limited and Zenith Nominees Limited. During the year, the Bank opened thirteen new branches and no branch was closed.

“As at December 31, 2019 the Group had 430 branches, 178 cash centres; 2,093 ATM terminals; 50,427 POS terminals and 7,745,176 cards issued to its customers. (December 31, 2018: 417 branches, 256 cash centres, 1,891 ATM terminals, 34,006 POS terminals and 5,732,820 cards issued)”, the bank stated.

Interestingly, revenue from Europe posted the best performance, as it increased by 28.9 percent to N25.13 billion in 2019 compared with N19.5 billion in 2018. Notwithstanding, the European market accounted for just 4 percent of Zenith Bank’s revenue in 2019 whereas in 2018 it was just 3 percent.

On account of the 4.88 percent growth in Nigerian revenue while Africa’s remained flat, total revenue of the bank rose by just 5.04 percent to N668.44 billion in 2019 up from N636.37 billion in the previous year.

Revenue after tax (PAT) increased by 7.81 percent to N212.84 billion in 2019 up from N197.42 billion in 2018, but the growth in revenue was mostly driven by revenue from Africa and Europe. In 2019, Zenith Bank made N183.69 billion revenue after tax from Nigeria as against N172.50 billion in 2018. PAT from other African countries rose by 20.23 percent from N14.76 billion in 2018 to N17.74 billion in 2019 while the PAT from Europe increased by 12.23 percent from N10.17 billion in 2018 to N11.41 billion in 2019.

When combined, the revenues from other African countries and Europe amounted to N29.15 billion last year, representing 17 percent increase over N24.92 billion made in 2018.

Other interesting insights from the bank’s financials include some few changes in its directors’ shareholding. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, who was appointed as the Group Managing Director (GMD) effective June 1, 2019, increased his direct shareholding by 26.38 percent from 36 million shares as at December 31, 2018 to 45.5 million shares as at December 31, 2019. Also, Peter Amangbo who retired from the board effective May 31, 2019 raised his direct shareholding from 15 million shares as at December 2018 to 19.6 million shares by December 2019.

The bank spent N2.729 billion as donations and charitable gifts in 2019, with state government security trust funds, the Global Citizen Award, underprivileged Nigerians in need of medical assistance, the greatest beneficiaries.

A total of 5,982 employees worked for the bank in 2019, comprising 3,099 males and 2, 883 females, representing 52:48 spilt. In terms of the board and top management composition, 71 percent are males while 29 percent are females.

 

TELIAT SULE

 

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