One of the leading banks in Nigeria, Zenith Bank has announced its audited report where it recorded a substantial growth in its earnings for the first half year ending 30th June, 2023.
According to the report, the bank witnessed a significant growth of 139 per cent in gross earnings, from N404.8 billion reported in H1 2022 to N967.3 billion in H1 2023. Meanwhile, this is a clear demonstration of the financial institution’s resilience and strong market share despite a very challenging macroeconomic environment and persistent headwinds across the continent of Africa where it dominantly operates.
According to the bank’s audited half-year financial results, the triple-digit growth in the top line also spurred the bottom line as the Group recorded a 169 per cent year-on-year (YoY) increase in profit before tax, growing from N130 billion in H1 2022 to N350.4 billion in H1 2023.
The bank’s profit after tax also grew by triple digits, growing by 162 per cent from N111.4 billion to N291.7 billion in the same period. The growth in gross earnings arose from both interest income and non-interest income. Interest income also grew by 72 per cent, from N241.7 billion in H1 2022, to N415.4 billion in H1 2023, while non-interest income grew by 246 per cent, from N149 billion to N515.7 billion.
The growth in interest income was attributed to the impact of both the growth and repricing of risk assets. The liberalisation of the foreign exchange market during the period spurred the growth in non-interest income as revaluations gains improved significantly.
In terms of efficiency, the results showed that Zenith Bank’s cost-to-income ratio improved from 58 per cent to 38.5 per cent in the current period on the back of an enhanced income line.
The liberalisation of the foreign exchange market coupled with the heightened risk environment resulted in cost of risk growing from 1.4 per cent to 8.8 per cent just as its cost of funding also grew YoY from 1.4 per cent in H1 2022 to 2.6 per cent in H1 2023. because of the spike in interest rates between both periods as interest expense grew from N57 billion in H1 2022 to N153.6 billion in H1 2023.
In addition, its total assets grew by 31 per cent from N12.3 trillion to N16 trillion in December 2022, mainly driven by growth in customers’ deposits and the devaluation of the local currency. Customers’ deposits grew by 30 per cent, from N9 trillion in December 2022, to N11.6 trillion in June 2023.
Loans and advances also grew by 32 per cent, from N4.12 trillion in December 2022, to N5.38 trillion in June 2023, partly due to the revaluation of the foreign currency denominated loans as well as growth in local currency loans. Non-performing loans ratio improved from 4.3 per cent to 3.9 per cent in December 2022, despite the deterioration of the macros and heightened risk environment because of the currency mix of risk assets, while capital adequacy ratio improved from 19.8 per cent to 22 per cent and liquidity ratio reduced from 75 per cent to 61 per cent in the current period. Both prudential ratios were still well above regulatory thresholds.
“The reorganisation into a holding company structure has advanced, as the Group adds new verticals to its businesses and expand into new frontiers. As the year progresses, the Group will continue to remain dynamic in anticipating and responding to the changes in the fiscal and monetary environments in order to sustain growth across all its business segments and markets,” the bank explained.
Zenith Bank’s track record of excellent performance has continued to earn the brand numerous awards including being recognised as the Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital, for the 14th consecutive year, in the 2023 Top 1000 World Banks Ranking published by The Banker Magazine; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria, for three consecutive years from 2021 to 2023, in the World Finance Banking Awards; Best Corporate Governance Bank, Nigeria in the World Finance Corporate Governance Awards 2022 and 2023.
Also, the bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands 2020 and 2021 and Retail Bank of the Year, for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, at the BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.