LAGOS — Zenith Bank Plc said it recorded gross earnings of N166.8 billion for the first quarter ended March 31st 2020 (Q1’2020), representing six percent increase from N158.1 billion in the corresponding quarter of 2019 (Q1’2019).
The bank disclosed this in the unaudited statement of account presented to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday, saying that the growth in gross earnings was driven by the 43 percent expansion in non-interest income to N46.6 billion in March 2020 from N32.7 billion in the prior-year period. The bank’s profit before tax also rose three percent from N57.3 billion in the prior-year period to N58.8 billion in March 2020.
The increased profits benefited from the twin effects of continuing top-line growth and focused cost-of-funds optimisation. Cost of funds declined significantly from 3.0 percent in March 2019 to 2.6 percent in Q1’2020, translating to a 10 percent decrease in interest expense which dropped to N32.8 billion in Q1’2020 from N36.3 billion in March 2019 Despite this drop, the current low yield environment necessitated the repricing of interest-bearing assets which in turn resulted in a 13 percent compression in net interest margin, decreasing to 7.7 percent in the current period from 8.9 percent in March 2019.
Zenith Bank has continued to gain customer acceptance, with customer deposits increasing by five percent to N4.46 trillion in Q1 2020 from N4.26 trillion in December 2019.
The bank’s customer deposit mix rebalancing remains on-track as the Group added N150 billion in savings account balances in Q1 2020, supported by its retail drive. The bank’s total assets increased by 12 percent growing to N7.13 trillion in Q1 2020 from N6.35 trillion in December 2019. Gross loans grew by 11 percent to N2.74 trillion in Q1 2020 from N2.46 trillion in December 2019. Zenith Bank continues to surpass the expectations of its shareholders with its track record of superlative performances.