Zenith Bank Plc has announced profit before tax (PBT) of N111.7billion and proposed interim dividend of 30 kobo per share for the half-year ended June 2019 (H1’19).

The bank disclosed this in its audited financial results for H1’19 released yesterday which showed improved performance in key financial indicators.

In a statement announcing the results, the bank said: “Gross earnings grew by three percent from ¦ 322.2 billion to ¦ 331.6 billion driven by a significant growth of 24 percent (YoY) in non-interest income from ¦ 88.6 billion in H1 2018 to ¦ 109.7 billion in H1 2019.

“In particular, fees from electronic products increased by ¦ 17 billion (168 percent) from ¦ 10 billion in H1 2018 to ¦ 27 billion in H1 2019, demonstrating significant progress in our retail banking initiatives.

“This top-line growth filtered through to the bottom-line as Profit Before Tax (PBT) increased to¦ 111.7 billion reflecting a four percent growth over ¦ 107.4 billion reported in H1 2018 with earnings per share (EPS) increasing by nine percent to ¦ 2.83 in H1 2019 from ¦ 2.60 compared to the prior period.

Between December 2018 and June 2019, the Group’s total deposit increased by 3% with retail deposits growing by ¦ 267 billion (31 percent), from ¦ 861 billion to close at ¦ 1.1 trillion.

“Despite the growth in our deposit base, we optimized interest expense leading to a four percent reduction from ¦ 74.7 billion to ¦ 72.1 billion due to the Group’s improved funding mix and our profound treasury management skills.

The bank further stated, “Our robust risk management ensured that our absolute Gross Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) remained flat. However, the marginal movement in NPL ratio was as a result of the three percent reduction in our loan book from ¦ 2.02 trillion as at December 2018 to ¦ 1.95 trillion at the end of the period.

Expressing confidence of sustaining this growth trend in the second half of the year, the bank said: “Going into the second half of the year, we will continue to consolidate our leadership in the corporate space while our retail banking drive will continue unabated.

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