Zenith Bank Plc has achieved N945.5 billion gross earnings in its audited results for the full-year ended December 31, 2022.
The performance represents 25 per cent growth from N765.6 billion reported in the same period of 2021.
In a statement, the bank said it recorded the outstanding performance in the last financial year despite persistent challenging macroeconomic environment and headwinds within the domestic economy.
The audited financial results for the 2022 financial year, presented to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX), showed that the double-digit growth in gross earnings was driven by a 26 per cent year-on-year (YoY) growth in interest income from N427.6 billion to N540.2 billion.
The 23 per cent year-on-year (YoY) growth in non-interest income from N309 billion to N381 billion also contributed to the output.
Its profit before tax also grew by two per cent from N280.4 billion to N284.7 billion in the current year. The increase in profit before tax was due to the significant growth in all the income lines.
Impairments grew by 107 per cent from N59.9 billion to N124.2 billion, while interest expense grew 63 per cent YoY from N106.8 billion to N173.5 billion, respectively.
The impairment growth, which also resulted in an increase in the cost of risk (from 1.9 per cent in 2021 to 3.3 per cent in the current year), was due to the impact of Ghana’s sovereign debt restructuring programme. The growth in interest expense increased the cost of funds from 1.5 per cent in 2021 to 1.9 per cent in 2022 due to hikes in interest rates globally.
Customer deposits increased by 39 per cent, growing from N6.47 trillion in the previous year to N8.98 trillion in the current year. The growth in customer deposits came from all products and deposit segments (corporate and retail), thus consolidating the bank’s market leadership and indicating customers’ trust.
The continued elevated yield environment positively impacted the bank’s Net-Interest-Margin (NIM), which grew from 6.7 per cent to 7.2 per cent due to an effective repricing of interest-bearing assets. Operating expenses grew by 17 per cent YoY, but growth remains below the inflation rate. Total assets increased by 30 per cent, growing from N9.45 trillion in 2021 to N12.29 trillion, mainly driven by growth in customer deposits.
With the steady and continued recovery in economic activities, the Group prudently grew its gross loans by 20 per cent, from N3.5 trillion in 2021 to N4.1 trillion in 2022, which increased the Non-Performing Loan (NPL) ratio modestly from 4.2 per cent to 4.3 per cent YoY. The capital adequacy ratio decreased from 21 per cent to 19 per cent, while the liquidity ratio improved from 71.2 per cent to 75 per cent. Both prudential ratios are well above regulatory thresholds.
In 2023, the Group intends to expand its frontiers as it also reorganises into a holding company structure, adding new verticals to its businesses and growing in all its chosen markets, both locally and internationally.
As a testament to its commitment to shareholders, the bank has announced a proposed final dividend payout of N2.90 per share, bringing the total dividend to N3.20 per share.
In recognition of its track record of excellent performances, Zenith Bank was recognised as the Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital, for the 13th consecutive year, in the 2022 Top 1000 World Banks Ranking published by The Banker Magazine; Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020 and 2022; Best Bank in Nigeria, for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards.
The bank was also awarded the Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria 2021 and 2022 in the World Finance Banking Awards; Best Corporate Governance Bank, Nigeria in the World Finance Corporate Governance Awards 2022; Best in Corporate Governance’ Financial Services’ Africa, for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, by the Ethical Boardroom; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria and Best Innovation In Retail Banking, Nigeria in the International Banker 2022 Banking Awards.
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.