By Dipo Olowookere
One of the leading financial institutions in Nigeria, Zenith Bank Plc, has announced the payment of N2.70 final dividend for the year ended December 31, 2020.
The lender, which released its audited financial statements for the year on Tuesday, said the final dividend was subject to the 10 per cent withholding tax and approval at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) to hold at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, at 9am.
The cash reward would be paid on March 16 to shareholders whose names appear on the register of members as at March 8, 2021, and have completed the e-dividend registration.
It is important to note that Zenith Bank in the first half of last year paid an interim dividend of 30 kobo to investors. It means it would have paid a total dividend of N3 for the 2020 fiscal year.
Analysis of its results for the year by Business Post showed that the bank increased its gross earnings to N696.5 billion from N662.3 billion in the 2019 accounting year. This was buoyed by the significant increase in the revenue generated from the Nigerian operations (N605.9 billion versus N575.1 billion a year earlier).
It was revealed that the interest income for the year rose to N420.8 billion from N415.6 billion, while the interest expense reduced to N121.1 billion from N148.5 billion, leaving the company with a net interest income of N299.7 billion in contrast to N267.0 billion in the 2019 reporting year.
However, the net income on fees and commission decreased in the period under review to N79.3 billion from N100.1 billion, while trading gains moved up to N121.7 billion from N117.8 billion, with the other operating income rising to N50.7 billion from N14.2 billion.
The results also showed that personnel costs in the year increased to N79.3 billion from N77.9 billion, while the operating expenses jumped to N148.1 billion from N129.5 billion.
When the year’s activities were rounded up, Zenith Bank was left with profit before tax of N255.9 billion versus N243.3 billion achieved a year earlier, while the profit after tax increased to N230.6 billion from N208.8 billion, with the earnings per share (EPS) moving higher to N7.34 from N6.65.