Shareholders of Zenith Bank on Monday approved the proposal of the board to pay final dividend of N2.50k per share as dividends for the 2018 financial year.

The shareholders gave the approval at the 28th Annual General Meeting of the bank in Lagos.

The directors proposed a final dividend of N2.50 per share in addition to the N0.30 per share paid as interim dividend amounting to N2.80 per share, as against the N2.70 per share in 2017.

The bank has earmarked N87.91 billion for total dividend payment to shareholders for 2018 financial year as against N84.77 billion paid in 2017.

The Chairman of the bank, Mr Jim Ovia, said that the bank remained committed to delivering superior returns to its much valued shareholders by ensuring that a good chunk of its profits was set aside for shareholders.

“In clear demonstration of this, we had declared and paid an interim dividend of 30 kobo per share in the course of the 2018 financial year.

“We hereby propose a final dividend of 250 kobo per share. If approved, this will bring the total dividend for the year ended Dec. 31, 2018 to 280 kobo per share as against 270 kobo per share that was paid in the previous year.”

Speaking further on the financial results, Ovia said that 2018 was challenging year for all operators in the Nigerian banking industry.

He said the bank was able to fully exploit the opportunities within the environment to record a performance that attested to its durability and resilience as a brand.

“Clearly, the results are once again, a reflection of the exceptional financial of the exceptional financial health of the bank and the group.

“For the bank, total deposit was N2.82 trillion for the year ended December 31, 2018, representing a 2.9 per cent increase over the previous year’s figure of N2.74 trillion.

“Profit Before Tax rose by 13.6 per cent from N169 billion in 2017 to N192 billion in 2018.

“Profit-After-Tax similarly rose by 7.8 per cent from N153 billion in 2017 to N165 billion in 2018.

“During the same period, total assets of the bank grew by 2.7 per cent from N4.83 trillion to N4.96 trillion, while shareholders’ fund declined by 3 3 per cent from N698 billion to N675 billion.

“Gross earnings similarly declined by 0.2 per cent from N674 billion in year 2017 to N538 billion in 2018.”

Also as a group, Ovia said that the performance indices were no less remarkable.

According to him, the Group’s profit before tax grew by 16.6 per cent from N199 billion in year 2017 to N232 billion in 2018.

“Profit-after-tax grew by 10.9 per cent during the period from N174 billion in 2017 to N193 billion in 2018 while customer customers’ deposit grew by 7.3 per cent during the same period from N3.44 trillion to an3.69 trillion.

“Group shareholders’ fund grew by 0.5 per cent from N812 billion in 2017 to N816 billion in 2018, gross earnings dropped by 15.4 per cent from N745 billion in 2017 to N630 billion in 2018,” he said.

The Zenith Bank Managing Director, Mr Peter Amangbo, said the bank’s drive toward entrenching sustainable principle in its business operations gained further momentum in the year under review.

Amangbo said the bank would continue to place a high premium on developing a robust risk management framework which had helped in promoting the soundness of the financial institution in protecting its assets and ensuring its growth.

“We are committed to entrenching a robust enterprise risk management, global best practices in corporate governance and sustainability in the coming year,” he said.

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