Zenith Bank reports N106 billion half-year profit, declares interim dividend

The bank says it will pay shareholders an interim dividend of N0.30 per share totaling N9.4 billion for the period.

Zenith Bank posted N106.1 billion in after-tax profit for the six months to June, 2.2 per cent higher than what it reported in the same period of last year, becoming the first of the Big 5 banks to release its mid-year earnings scorecard.

The mild profit rise drew support from a 42.3 per cent jump in net income on fees and commission, helping to dampen the pressure coming N13 billion slump in interest and similar income, the audited financials of Nigeria’s second biggest by asset and market value issued on Friday shows.

That was achieved against a background of weaker gross earnings, which at N345.6 billion compares with the N346.1 billion recorded at half-year 2020, when the pangs of the pandemic outbreak forced lenders in Nigeria to look the way of restructuring the loans in their books.

“I don’t think that we can expect any dramatic increase in performance … from banks. For one, the performance wasn’t that bad in H1 last year, so I don’t see that they are coming from a very low base point,” Timchang Gwatau, senior research analyst at broker and investment bank Meristem Securities Limited told CNBC Africa last Friday.

“You also have the constraints on interest income, which is the key source of revenue for banks.”

Zenith Bank’s pre-tax profit was up 2.6 per cent at N117.1 billion, just as earnings per share rose 2.4 per cent to N3.38.

Meanwhile, the tier 1 lender has said it will pay shareholders an interim dividend of N0.30 per share totaling N9.4 billion for the period under review.

Shareholders whose names appear in the company’s register of members by September 10 will be eligible for the payout, Zenith Bank said in a separate document seen by PREMIUM TIMES. Payment is scheduled for September 20.

Shares in Zenith Bank closed in Lagos on Friday at N24.30 per unit, trading up 0.41 per cent.

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