Bank shareholders endorse N94.19b dividend payment
Shareholders of Zenith Bank Plc have approved a final dividend of N2.70 kobo, bringing the dividend declared for the 2020 financial year to N3, with a total value of N94.19 billion.
Reviewing its performance at the 30th annual general meeting (AGM) held in Lagos, the bank said profit before tax rose by five per cent to N255.9 billion from N243.3 billion reported in 2019.
The bank linked the increase in profit to a combination of growth achieved in the topline and a significant reduction in interest expenses from N148.5 billion in 2019 to N121.1 billion in 2020.
The group grew its earnings to N696.5 billion, representing an increase of five per cent while non-interest income rose from NGN232.1 billion to NGN251.7 billion.
The group’s increased retail activities translated to a corresponding increase in retail deposits and loans while retail deposits grew by N612.7 billion from N1.11 trillion to N1.72 trillion.
The bank’s retail drive, coupled with a low-interest yield environment, helped reduce the cost of funding from 3.0 per cent to 2.1 per cent.
However, the low-interest environment also affected its net interest margin, which declined from 8.2 per cent to 7.9 per cent in the current year due to the re-pricing of interest-bearing assets.