Zenith Bank Plc on Tuesday, February 19, released its annual financial report for the year ended December 31, 2018 recording a 15.4% decline in gross earnings of N630.3 billion from N745.2 billion posted in 2017, and an 11.3% growth in profit after tax of N193.4 billion recorded for the 2018 full year from N173.8 billion recorded for the same period in 2017.
According to the bank, the group’s bottom-line operating results for the year under review is largely due to the reduction of 25% in expenses.
A review of the 2018 audited statements showed that in comparison with 2017, interest and similar expense reduced 33% to N144.5 billion from N216.6 billion while interest and similar income dropped 7% to N440.1 billion from N474.6 billion thereby, improving net interest income by 15% to N295.6 billion from N257.9 billion recorded a year ago.
In the period under review, the personnel expenses for the bank also rose to N68.6 billion from N64.5 billion, but the operating expenses dropped to N137.9 billion from N144.9 billion. Net assets improved 0.4% to N815.8 billion from N812.1 billion while deposits climbed 7% to 3.7 billion from N3.4 billion.
Key financial ratios show cost to income ratio increased 4.5% to 47.4% from 42.9%, loans to deposit ratio dropped 7.8% to 67.7% and return on equity improved 2.4% to 23.8%.
In view of the bank’s performance, directors have proposed to shareholders the payment of a final dividend of N2.50 kobo per share which is in addition to the 30 kobo per share paid as interim dividend, amounting to N2.80 kobo per share.
The proposed dividend is in contrast to interim dividend of 25 kobo per share and final of N2.45 kobo per share paid in 2017 financial year. Shareholders are expected to deliberate on the proposal at the bank’s 28th Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled to hold on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at Civic Centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe Street, Victoria Island, Lagos by 9.00 a.m.