Zenith Bank

After 41% Gross Earnings In 2023 Q1 And N100.47B Shareholders Dividends, Zenith Bank Retains ‘Best Corporate Governance Financial Services’ In Africa 4th Consecutive Year

After 41% Gross Earnings In 2023 Q1

OpenLife Nigeria reports that for the fourth consecutive year, Zenith Bank Plc has been named as the Best Corporate Governance ‘Financial Services’ Africa 2023 by the Ethical Boardroom. The award, which was published in the Spring 2023 edition of The Ethical Boardroom magazine, is in recognition of the bank’s adherence to global best practices and institutionalization of corporate governance, setting an industry-wide example of best practices in that field.

Speaking on the recognition, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of Zenith Bank Plc, Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, said: “I am extremely pleased that Zenith Bank has been awarded the Ethical Boardroom Corporate Governance Award as a regional governance champion for the fourth year running. No doubt, the bank’s board has pioneered the exemplary governance culture for which we are now renowned. Indeed, this recognition reflects our steadfast commitment, discipline and high ethos in the conduct of our business and dedication to the principles of good corporate governance. This award will motivate us to strengthen this culture internally and advocate for good governance at every forum.”

He dedicated the award to the Founder and Group Chairman, Jim Ovia, CFR, for providing the template for an enduring and very successful institution; the Board for their vision and outstanding leadership; the staff for their dedication and commitment; and the bank’s customers for their unwavering loyalty to the brand.

Ethical Boardroom is a trailblazing and leading international magazine that delivers in-depth coverage and critically-astute analysis of global corporate governance issues to help boards stay ahead of the governance curve.
The Bank, at the 32nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) which held on Tuesday, 2 May 2023, shareholders of the bank unanimously approved the proposed final dividend payment of NGN2.90 per share. This brought the total dividend for the 2022 financial year to NGN3.20 per share, with a total value of NGN100.47 billion.
In his opening statement at the AGM, Jim Ovia, CFR, Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, expressed his gratitude to the shareholders for their unwavering loyalty,commitment, and support, which have been instrumental in the bank’s outstanding performance since its inception.

Group Managing Director/Chief Executive, Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, extolled the Founder and Chairman, Jim Ovia, CFR, for establishing the legacy and providing the template for the bank’s continued superior performance.

He also highlighted the Board and Management’s determination to maintain the bank’s growth trajectory in the coming years, with an emphasis on digital and retail banking.Speaking at the AGM, Dr. Faruk Umar, President of the Association of the Rights of Nigerian Shareholders (AARNS), commended the Board and Management of Zenith Bank for consistently delivering value to shareholders, despite the challenging economic environment. He also praised the bank’s staff for their loyalty and dedication.

Also, in April 2023 Zenith Bank announced its unaudited results for the first quarter ending 31st March2023, with an exceptional double-digit growth of 41% in Gross Earnings, increasing from₦191.5 billion in Q1 2022 to ₦270 billion in Q1 2023.
The unaudited statement of account submitted to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) on 28thApril 2023, indicated that the significant double-digit growth in the top line also boosted the bottom line, with the Group experiencing an impressive 27% year-on-year (YoY) increase in Profit Before Tax (PBT), rising from ₦68 billion in Q1 2022 to ₦86.6 billion in Q1 2023.
Profit After Tax (PAT) also grew by 13% from ₦58.2 billion to ₦66 billion during the same period.The growth in the top line was propelled by substantial increases in both interest income and non-interest income.

Interest income surged by 52% from ₦126.4 billion in Q1 2022 to ₦191.6billion in Q1 2023, while non-interest income expanded by 27% from ₦57.2 billion to ₦72.8billion.
The growth in interest income can be attributed to the impact of risk asset repricing,while the increase in non-interest income primarily resulted from loan recoveries and foreign currency revaluation gains.Regarding efficiency, the cost-to-income ratio improved from 55% to 53.4% in the current period, supported by a bolstered income line.
The cost of risk also moderated from 0.8% to0.7% during the same period due to an enlarged loan book.
However, the cost of funding doubled YoY from 1.3% in Q1 2022 to 2.7% in Q1 2023, owing to a considerable spike in interest rates between both periods as interest expense grew from ₦25.8 billion in Q1 2022 to₦70.8 billion in Q1 2023.
This impacted the net interest margin (NIM), which reduced from7.3% to 6.9% over the same period.

Total assets expanded by 9% from ₦12.29 trillion in December 2022 to ₦13.36 trillion in March 2023, primarily driven by growth in customer deposits and other funding sources, such as borrowings.
Customer deposits increased by 2% from ₦8.98 trillion in December 2022 to₦9.14 trillion in March 2023.
Loans and advances also experienced marginal growth of 1% from ₦4.12 trillion in December2022 to ₦ 4.15 trillion in March 2023 as customers continued to adjust to the full impact of higher rates on risk assets.

Both the capital adequacy and liquidity ratios remained robust at19.5% and 72%, respectively, with both prudential ratios comfortably exceeding regulatory thresholds.
However, Zenith Bank has been generally adjudged a Corporate Governance compliant bank by the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) hence its listing on the Premium Board of the Exchange. The bank continues to sustain this reputation and reappraise its processes to ensure that its business conforms to the highest global standards at all times.

The bank’s track record of excellent performances has continued to earn it numerous awards including being recognised as the Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital, for the 13th consecutive year, in the 2022 Top 1000 World Banks Ranking published by The Banker Magazine; Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020 and 2022; Best Bank in Nigeria, for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria 2021 and 2022 in the World Finance Banking Awards; Best Corporate Governance Bank, Nigeria in the World Finance Corporate Governance Awards 2022; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria and Best Innovation In Retail Banking, Nigeria in the International Banker 2022 Banking Awards.

Also, the bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands 2020 and 2021, and Retail Bank of the year, for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, at the BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards. Similarly, Zenith Bank was named as Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020, Bank of the Year 2021 by Champion Newspaper, Bank of the Year 2022 by New Telegraph Newspaper, and Most Responsible Organisation in Africa 2021 by SERAS Awards.

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