Zenith Bank has announced gross earnings of N765.6 billion as at Dec. 31, 2021 compared with N696.5 billion achieved in the corresponding period in 2020.
In the banks audited financial results for 2021, presented to the Nigeria Exchange Group (NGX) on Monday, it said the 10 per cent growth was achieved despite a challenging macroeconomic environment aggravated by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Group said the growth in gross earnings was achieved on the back of 23 per cent YoY growth in non-interest income from N251.7 billion to N309 billion and a 2 per cent YoY growth in interest income from N420.8 billion to NGN427.6 billion.
The profit before tax of the Group also grew by 10 per cent from N255.9 billion to N280.4 billion in the review period.
It said the increase was due to growth in the top-line and very strong management of the treasury portfolio that increased efficiency, resulting in a drop in interest expense by 12 per cent from N121.1 billion in 2020 to N106.8 billion in the year under review.
This further led to a seven per cent increase in net interest income of N320.8 billion in 2021 from N299.7 billion in 2020.
It also said customer deposits increased by 21 per cent, growing from N5.34 trillion in the previous year to N6.47 trillion in the year under review. It said the growth in customer deposits came from both corporate and retail customers.
Retail deposits grew by N146 billion from N1.72 trillion in 2020 to N1.87 trillion in 2021.
The Group’s continuous drive for retail deposits combined with the strategic rebalancing of its funding base helped to reduce the cost of funding from 2.1 per cent to 1.5 per cent in the current year.
Although operating expenses grew by 13 per cent YoY, growth remained below the inflation rate, and the Group improved its Earnings per Share (EPS), which grew by six per cent from N7.34 to N7.78.
Total assets increased by 11 per cent, growing from N8.48 trillion in 2020 to N9.45 trillion in 2021, mainly driven by growth in customer deposits.
Also, with the steady recovery in economic activities, the Group grew its gross loans by 20 per cent, from N2.9 trillion in 2020 to N3.5 trillion in 2021, with moderated NPL ratio from 4.29 per cent to 4.19 per cent YoY.
The Group recorded impressive liquidity and capital adequacy ratios of 71.6 per cent and 21.0 per cent, which remained above regulatory thresholds of 30 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively.
The group said In 2022, it intended to consolidate on the gains achieved in the previous year in all business segments and combine leadership in the industry, innovation and technology to drive improved performance and deliver enhanced returns to all stakeholders.
As a testament to its commitment to its shareholders, the bank has announced a proposed final dividend of N2.80 per share, bringing the total dividend to N3.10 per share.