Zenith Bank Plc has announced its unaudited results for the first quarter of the year with N166.8 billion as gross earnings.
According to the bank, this represents six per cent rise from the N158.1 billion gross earnings posted in March 2019. From the unaudited statement of account presented to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday, the bank explained that this top-line growth was driven by the 43 per cent expansion in non-interest income from N32.7 billion in the prior-year to N46.6 billion in March 2020.
Its pre-tax profit also rose by three per cent from N57.3 billion in the prior-year period to N58.8 billion in March 2020. The increased profits benefited from the twin effects of continuing top-line growth and focused cost-of-funds optimisation. Cost of funds declined significantly from three per cent in March 2019 to 2.6 per cent in the quarter, translating to a 10 per cent decrease in interest expense dropping from N36.3 billion in March 2019 to N32.8 billion in the quarter. Despite this drop, the current low yield environment necessitated the repricing of interest-bearing assets, which in turn, resulted in a 13 per cent compression in net interest margin, decreasing from 8.9 per cent in March 2019 to 7.7 per cent in the current period.
Zenith Bank has continued to gain customer acceptance, with customer deposits increasing by 5 per cent from N4.26 trillion in December 2019 to N4.46 trillion in Q1 2020. The bank’s customer deposit mix rebalancing remains on-track as the Group added N150 billion in savings account balances in Q1 2020, supported by its retail drive. The bank’s total assets increased by 12 per cent growing from N6.35 trillion in December 2019 to close at N7.13 trillion in Q1 2020. Gross loans grew by 11 per cent from N2.46 trillion in December 2019 to N2.74 trillion in Q1 2020.
Zenith Bank continues to surpass the expectations of its shareholders with its track record of superlative performances. In recognition of this, the bank was voted the Best Commercial Bank in Nigeria 2019 by the World Finance and the Best Digital Bank in Nigeria 2019 by Agusto and Co.