By Ajogwu Jerry

The management of Zenith Bank Plc recently announced a final dividend of N76.92 billion for the year ended December 31, 2017.

The dividend, which translates to N2.45 kobo per share was declared following a profit after tax (PAT) of N157.145 billion reported for the period.

The bank has earlier paid an interim dividend of 25 kobo per share, bringing the total dividend for the period under review to N2.70 per share. The audited results of Zenith Bank made available by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), showed that the bank recorded gross earnings of N745.189 billion, up by 46.73 per cent from N507.997 billion posted in the corresponding period of 2016.

Net interest income stood at N257.991 billion, as against N240.829 billion in 2016, while impairment loss on financial assets increased from N32.350 billion to N98.227 billion.

With this development, Zenith Bank Plc ended the period with profit before tax of N203.461 billion, compared with N156.748 billion in 2016. Profit after tax rose from N129.652 billion to N203.461 billion, while earnings per share also rose by 37.38 per cent to N5.66 from N4.12.

In a related development, customers’ deposits went up to N3.45 trillion from N2.98 trillion in 2016, while loan and advances decreased to N2.1 trillion from N2.289 trillion. The group total assets went up to N5.595 trillion as against N4.74 trillion, while its total liabilities increased to N4.774 trillion from N4.035 trillion in 2016.

 The chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Jim Ovia while speaking to shareholders at the last annual general meeting in 2017 said that in line with its commitment to delivering superior returns to its much-valued shareholders, the bank ensured that a good chunk of the profit was set aside for shareholders.

According to Jim, even in the face of a very challenging operating environment, Zenith Bank has maintained its culture of outstanding performance and industry leadership.

In his words: 

“As a bank, we are monitoring developments both in the local and global economy and applying pragmatism and dynamism as appropriate. Our strategy and approach to the pursuit of financial inclusion and sustainability gives us a lot of competitive advantage to explore even new frontiers in the market.”