By Dipo Olowookere
Shareholders of tier-one Nigerian lender, Zenith Bank Plc, have been assured of regular and superior dividend payment.
This assurance was given at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company held on Monday in Lagos.
Chairman of the bank, Mr Jim Ovia, said the financial institution will always ensure that a good chunk of its profits is set aside to reward shareholders.
In the 2018 financial year, Zenith Bank grew its profit before tax by 13.6 percent to N192 billion from N169 billion in 2017, while the profit after tax appreciated by 7.8 percent to N165 billion from N153 billion in 2017.
Consequently, the board recommended the payment of N2.50k per share as final dividend for the 2018 fiscal year in addition to the 30 kobo per share earlier paid as interim dividend, amounting to N2.80 per share, as against the N2.70k per share in 2017.
At the AGM held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, shareholders approved the dividend payment, praising the board for the reward.
Mr Ovia described the 2018 performance as a reflection of the exceptional financial health of the bank and the group despite the year being a very challenging one for all operators in the Nigerian banking industry.
The former banker said Zenith Bank was however, able to fully explore opportunities within the environment to record a performance that attested to its durability and resilience as a brand.
“Clearly, the results are once again, a reflection of the exceptional financial of the exceptional financial health of the bank and the group.
“For the bank, total deposit was N2.82 trillion for the year ended December 31, 2018, representing a 2.9 percent increase over the previous year’s figure of N2.74 trillion.
“Profit before tax rose by 13.6 percent from N169 billion in 2017 to N192 billion in 2018, while profit after tax similarly rose by 7.8 percent from N153 billion in 2017 to N165 billion in 2018.
“During the same period, total assets of the bank grew by 2.7 percent from N4.83 trillion to N4.96 trillion, while shareholders’ fund declined by 3 3 percent from N698 billion to N675 billion.
“Gross earnings similarly declined by 0.2 percent from N674 billion in year 2017 to N538 billion in 2018,” he said.
Managing Director, Zenith Bank, Mr Peter Amangbo, while speaking at the meeting, said the management has mapped out strategies to record more achievements.
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