Nigeria’s lender, Zenith International Bank PLC, yesterday announced it recorded about N193billion in profit after tax in its Group Accounts for the financial year ended December 31, 2018.
Highlights of its financial statement presented to shareholders by board Chairman, Mr Jim Ovia, at its 28th annual general meeting held in Lagos, Monday showed that this record represented about 11 per cent increase when compared with N174billion it posted in the corresponding period of 2017.
Ovia said the Group’s profit before tax grew by 17 per cent from N199billion to N232billion in 2018, although its earnings fell 15.5 per cent from N745billion to N630 billion in the year under review.
Addressing shareholders at the meeting, Mr Ovia, said the results were achieved amidst severe downside challenges in both domestic and global markets
According to him, the bank was however able to exploit opportunities in the domestic environment to achieve the record performance which stands it out as a respected brand, adding that Zenith Bank remained committed to delivering superior returns to its much valued shareholders by ensuring that a huge chunk of its profit was set aside for shareholders.
This was even as noted that the contributions of the bank’s subsidiaries rose from about 3 per cent 10 years ago to over 15 percent in the year under consideration .
Meanwhile, shareholders of Zenith Bank had at the same meeting, approved a proposal by the board to pay a final dividend of N2.50k per share as dividend for the 2018 financial year afer the directors proposed a final dividend of N2.50 per share in addition to the N0.30 per share paid as interim dividend last year. This brings the total amount paid in dividend to N2.80 per share compared to N2.70 per share it paid in 2017.
Against this backdrop, bank has earmarked N87.91 billion for dividend payment to shareholders in the 2018 financial year as against N84.77 billion paid in 2017.
The Chairman said, “In clear demonstration of this, we had declared and paid an interim dividend of 30 kobo per share in the course of the 2018 financial year.
“On how the result was achieved in a year that was quite challenging for all operators in the Nigerian banking industry, Ovia said the bank was able to fully exploit the opportunities within the environment to record a performance that attested to its durability and resilience as a brand.
“Clearly, the results are once again, a reflection of the exceptional financial of the exceptional financial health of the bank and the group. Group shareholders’ fund grew by 0.5 per cent from N812 billion in 2017 to N816 billion in 2018, gross earnings dropped by 15.4 per cent from N745 billion in 2017 to N630 billion in 2018,” he said.
For his part, Managing Director of Zenith Bank, Mr Peter Amangbo, said the bank’s drive toward entrenching sustainable principle in its business operations gained further momentum in the year under review.