Zenith Bank declares dividend payout of N87.9 billion
The bank's shareholders approved the proposed final dividend of N2.50 per share, bringing the total dividend payment for 2019 to N2.80 per share.
Zenith Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s largest banks, has declared a dividend payout of N87.9 billion for the 2019 financial year. The bank made the announcement following its 29th Annual General Meeting (AGM), which held in Abuja on Monday.
According to a statement by Zenith Bank, its shareholders unanimously approved the proposed final dividend of N2.50 per share, bringing the total dividend payment for last year to N2.80 per share, amounting to a total value of N87.9 billion.
The AGM was held following the recent release of the bank’s 2019 audited results for the period ended 31st December, 2019, in which Zenith Bank reported an 8 per cent rise in profit after tax (PAT) from N193.4 billion in 2018 to N208.8 billion last year.
Chairman of the Board, Jim Ovia (CON), said the AGM was an opportunity for the bank to engage shareholders on its 2019 financial year performance.
“Zenith Bank is committed to consistently deliver superior returns to our highly esteemed shareholders by ensuring that a good chunk of our profit is set aside for you,” Mr. Ovia said. “In a clear demonstration of this, we had declared and paid you an interim dividend of 30kobo per share in the course of the 2019 financial year. We hereby propose a final dividend of N2.50kobo per share.”
The bank said its 2019 performance reaffirmed its leadership in the Nigerian banking industry. Last year's financial results, according to the bank, made it the first Nigerian bank to cross the N200 billion mark in profit after tax. The bank's profit before tax (PBT) increased by 5 per cent to reach N243.3 billion last year, driven by cost optimisation strategies.
Zenith Bank’s gross earnings increased from N662 billion in 2018 to N630 billion last year. According to the financial report, the bank's total assets rose by 7 per cent from N5.96 trillion in 2018 to N6.35 trillion last year. a growth driven by the 29 per cent increase in non-interest income from N179.9 billion in 2018 to N231.1 billion in the following year.
Fees on its electronic products recorded significant growth of 108 per cent from N20.4 billion in 2018 to N42.5 billion last year. The bank attributed this to its retail transformation strategy, which continues to deliver impressive results.
The bank’s drive for cheaper retail deposits coupled with the low-interest yield environment helped reduce the cost of funding from 3.1 per cent in the previous year to 3.0 per cent in 2019. However, this also affected net interest margin, which reduced from 8.9 per cent to 8.2 per cent in the review period due to re-pricing of interest-bearing assets.
Although returns on equity and assets held steady at 23.8 per cent and 3.4 per cent, respectively, the Group still delivered improved earnings per share (EPS) of N6.65 in the current reporting year, up 8 per cent from the N6.15 EPS declared in 2018.
Zenith Bank said its financial performance earned it the award for the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria by The Banker magazine in its “Top 500 Banking Brands 2020.” Zenith Bank was also awarded the Best Bank in Nigeria 2020 by the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards 2020 and the Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at Thisday Awards 2020.
The bank was also voted as the Best Commercial Bank in Nigeria 2019 by the World Finance and the Best Digital Bank in Nigeria 2019 by Agusto & Co.
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