Up, up goes Zenith Bank

Posted by Amechi Obiakpu | 14 June 2012 | 4,869 times

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For Zenith Bank, it seems that the only way to go is upwards. This much is evident in the bank’s impressive results for the financial year ended December 31, 2011 as unveiled during the recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos.

Despite the harsh economic environment, Zenith posted superlative results, with its total deposits standing at N1.576tn, representing a 22 per cent increase over the previous year’s figure of N1.289tn. Profit after tax jumped by 11 per cent, from N33.34bn in 2010 to N37.14bn in 2011. 

Gross earnings went up from N169.37bn in 2010 to N215.62bn in 2011. Total assets of the bank grew by 20 per cent, from N1.789tn to N2.155tn; while shareholders’ funds rose by seven per cent, from N350.4bn to N360.9bn. 

As noted by the bank’s chairman, Steve Omojafor, despite the difficulties faced by banking industry operators in 2011, Zenith was able to exploit the opportunities within the environment and post an impressive performance.  

Omojafor also described as equally impressive the performance indices for the entire Zenith Bank Group. His words: “The group profit before tax grew by 21 per cent, from N50.03bn in 2010 to N60.70bn in 2011. Profit after tax thus jumped by 18 per cent during the period, from N37.41bn in 2010 to N44.20bn. The group total assets similarly rose by 22 per cent, from N1.895tn in 2010 to N2.309tn in 2011, while total deposits grew by 25 per cent during the same period, from N1.318tn to N1.653tn. 

“Group shareholders fund grew by five per cent, from N363.56bn to 2010 to N380.34bn; gross earning also grew during the period, from N192.49bn to N244.07bn.” 

With a dividend pay-out of N29.826bn, shareholders of the bank were rewarded to 95k per share dividend as against 85k per share dividend or a gross dividend of N26.7 billion paid in 2010. 

Zenith is however not about to rest on its oars, as Godwin Emefiele, Chief Executive Officer/GMD, has reiterated the commitment of the management to deliver superior returns on shareholders’ investments. He attributed the improved performance of the bank to support from its shareholders. 

Emefiele said that the bank would continue to monitor developments, both in the local and global economy, and apply pragmatic solutions to remain on top. He made it clear that the future of the bank “remains bright as challenges in the country are surmountable.” 

An experienced banker and administrator, Emefiele is a member of the management team that set the template of the present-day Zenith bank, several years ago. 

Headquartered in Nigeria and with subsidiaries in places such as the United Kingdom, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Gambia, Zenith Bank has a huge and expanding clientele and offers premium solutions to its teeming customers. The bank’s customer relations have been responsible for the growth of its customers’ businesses and wealth in the last 20 years and this has since positioned Zenith Bank as a financial institution of choice. 

Zenith Bank’s business is built on the core principle of working in its customers’ best interest. Over the years, the Zenith brand has become synonymous with the deployment of state-of-the-art technologies in banking. 

The bank’s main service delivery channels in Nigeria are its business offices which as at 2011 had risen to about 330 branches and over 125 cash offices. These are located in prime business and commercial centers in all states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. Within the first decade of operation, the bank made its mark in profitability and all other performance indices, and has maintained this prime position till date. 

Zenith Bank was incorporated as Zenith International Bank Limited on May 30, 1990 as a private limited liability company. It was licensed to carry out the business of banking in June 1990, with its name being changed to Zenith Bank Plc on May 20, 2004 to reflect its status as a public limited liability company. The bank’s shares were listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on October 21, 2004 following a highly successful Initial Public Offering (IPO). 

Following a restructuring exercise by the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2009, the baton of leadership changed from Jim Ovia, founder of Zenith Bank, to Godwin Emefiele, who is presently saddled with the task of leading one of Africa’s best and innovative banks.

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