Zenith Bank remains ahead as Profit Before Tax (PBT) grows by 3% In H1 2021

Zenith Bank Plc has released its audited results for the half-year ended 30 June 2021, demonstrating its resilience by posting positive growth across key financial measures despite a challenging macroeconomic environment aggravated by the COVID 19 epidemic.

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According to the bank’s audited half-year financial statements, profit before tax increased by 3% from NGN114 billion in H1 2020 to NGN117 billion in H1 2021, as reported to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX). The Group’s non-interest income increased by 9% from NGN116 billion in June 2020 to NGN127 billion in June 2021.

Overall, the significant reduction in interest expense by 26% and growth in non-interest income by 9% culminated in improved profitability.

The Group’s retail journey continues to deliver positive results as retail deposits grew by NGN38.2 billion from NGN1.72 trillion to NGN1.76 trillion year-to-date (YTD). Savings balances grew marginally by 2% YTD to close at NGN1.18 trillion from NGN1.16 trillion as at December 2020. The drive for increased retail deposits and a low-interest yield environment helped reduce the cost of funding from 2.2% to 1.3% in the current period. Operating expenses grew by 10% YoY, but growth remains below the inflation rate, while the Group improved its Earnings per Share (EPS) which grew 2% from NGN3.30 to NGN3.38 for the half-year ended June 2021.

The Group also increased total customer deposits by 8% to close the period at NGN5.77 trillion, demonstrating growth in the market share. Total assets grew marginally to NGN8.52 trillion as at 30 June 2021 from NGN8.48 trillion recorded as at 31 December 2020. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic induced challenges and the challenging operating environment, the Group grew its risk assets as gross loans were up by 3% YTD, from NGN2.92 trillion to NGN2.99 trillion. This was conservatively achieved at a low Non-Performance Loans (NPL) ratio of 4.51% (FYE 2020: 4.29%) and a reduced cost of risk of 1.3% (June 2020: 1.8%). Prudential ratios such as liquidity and capital adequacy also remained above regulatory thresholds at 69.9% and 22.0%, respectively.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s persistence, there is cautious confidence that the world economy will continue to recover as vaccination programs are ramped up. Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 5.01 percent in the second quarter of 2021, while the inflation rate, which peaked at 18.17 percent in March 2021, is steadily decreasing (currently at 17.38 percent as at July 2021). The Group is ideally positioned to take advantage of the opportunities presented by these improving fundamentals, while also embracing technology to grow its retail footprints and offer improved returns to all of its stakeholders.

In recognition of its track record of excellent performance, Zenith Bank was voted as Best Commercial Bank in Nigeria in the World Finance Banking Awards 2021, Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020, Best Bank in Nigeria in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards 2020 and 2021, and Best in Corporate Governance ‘Financial Services’ Africa 2020 and 2021 by the Ethical Boardroom. Also, the bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands 2020 and 2021, and Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital in the “2021 Top 1000 World Banks” Ranking by The Banker Magazine. The bank was also recognised as Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020, Retail Bank of the year at the 2020 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Awards, and Best Company in Promotion of Good Health and Well-Being as well as Best Company in Promotion of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment at the Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility (SERAS) Awards 2020.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s persistence, there is cautious confidence that the world economy will continue to recover as vaccination programs are ramped up. Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 5.01 percent in the second quarter of 2021, while the inflation rate, which peaked at 18.17 percent in March 2021, is steadily decreasing (currently at 17.38 percent as at July 2021). The Group is ideally positioned to take advantage of the opportunities presented by these improving fundamentals, while also embracing technology to grow its retail footprints and offer improved returns to all of its stakeholders.