Despite the challenges in the nation’s business environment, Zenith Bank Plc yesterday released its audited results for the year ended December 31, 2020, showing sterling performance.
Profit before tax (PBT) grew by 5.2 per cent from N243.294 billion to N255.861 billion, just as profit after tax (PAT) rose by 10.4 per cent to N230.565 billion from N208.843 billion in 2019. The board has proposed a final dividend of N2.70 per share, to bring the total dividend to N3.00 having paid an interim dividend before.
The increase in profit arose from a combination of growth in the top-line and a significant reduction in interest expense. Interest expense reduced from N148.5 billion in 2019 to N121.1 billion in 2020, significantly increasing our net interest income from NGN267.0 billion in 2019 to NGN299.7 billion in 2020.
The Zenith Bank Group recorded a growth in gross earnings of 5% rising to N696.5 billion from N662.3 billion reported in the previous year. Despite a challenging macro-economic environment exacerbated by the COVID 19 pandemic, the Group recorded 8% growth in non-interest income from NGN232.1 billion in 2019 to NGN251.7 billion in 2020 and a 1% increase in interest income from NGN415.6 billion in 2019 to NGN420.8 billion in 2020.
As a testament to the superlative performance and in recognition of its track record of excellent performance, Zenith Bank was voted as 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 Best Corporate Governance ‘Financial Services’ Africa 2020 by the Ethical Boardroom.
Also, the bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria, for the fourth consecutive year, in the Banker Magazine “Top 500 Banking Brands 2021” and Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital in the “2020 Top 1000 World Banks” Ranking published by The Banker Magazine.
Similarly, the bank was 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.