By Dipo Olowookere
The Mr Ebenezer Onyeagwu-led Zenith Bank Plc maintained its position in the banking sector in Nigeria with a stronger performance in the third quarter of 2020.
The lender, in the financial statements released today, declared a profit before tax of N177.3 billion as against the N176.2 billion achieved in the same period of last year. Also, the profit after tax increased to N159.3 billion from N150.7 billion, while the earnings per share (EPS) improved to N5.07 from N4.80.
On the topline, according to the results, the gross earnings increased to N509.0 billion from N491.3 billion, with the Nigerian operations contributing N441.6 billion to the figures, higher than the N425.8 billion last year.
Revenue from the branches of the financial institution in other African countries contributed N53.9 billion, higher than N53.0 billion in 2019, while Europe accounted for N17.8 billion, lower than N18.0 billion a year ago.
In the period under review, the interest income reduced to N318.8 billion from N321.9 billion, mainly because of earnings from treasury bills and this was due to low yield environment in Nigeria.
However, the lower interest expense of N93.6 billion in the first nine months of this year as against the N107.3 billion in the same time of 2019 helped the net interest income to close higher at N225.2 billion as at September 30, 2020, compared with N214.6 billion in the corresponding period of last year.
Also, the trading income increased to N89.8 billion from N66.9 billion as the other income jumped to N24.6 billion from N16.1 billion as a result of the loan recoveries of N2.6 billion, which was not there last year as well as the N891 million from the gain on disposal of equity investment, which was also absent in 2019.
Business Post observed that in the first nine months of the year, the personnel expenses of Zenith Bank increased to N59.9 billion from N57.1 billion, while the operating expenses also rose to N115.2 billion from N102.7 billion.
The deposits from customers, according to the financials of Zenith Bank, increased year-to-date to N5.2 trillion from N4.0 trillion in December 2019.
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