Shareholders of Zenith Bank Plc, at the 31st Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the bank held
on Wednesday, April 6, 2022, at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, unanimously
approved the proposed final dividend, expressing delight at the final dividend payment o
NGN2.80 per share which brings the total dividend for the 2021 financial year to NGN3.10 per
share with a total value of NGN97.33 billion.
In his statement, the Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr Jim Ovia, CON, thanked
the shareholders for their unflinching loyalty, which has enabled the bank to rise to the pinnacle
of the nation’s financial services industry, and assured them of the bank’s commitment to
consistently deliver superior value to them.
Speaking on the bank’s performance, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive, Mr
Ebenezer Onyeagwu, said: “if you look at the bank’s history over the years, Zenith Bank has
always grown, and even within the pandemic, we have maintained a reasonable positive
growth trajectory. Growth is coming from the fact that we are deploying our digital capability to
grow more businesses, simplify our service processes, make our processes more efficient, and
deal with customers’ complaints. Apart from developing new products, we are discovering new
business verticals, especially within the retail segment, which have significant revenue.” He
added that: “meeting the expectation of shareholders means we have to work harder. The team
is dodged, hardworking, resilient, and above all, we have a very supportive board that comes
with superior guidance”.
Commenting on the dividend payout, the Chairman Emeritus of the Independent Shareholders
Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunny Nwosu, expressed the delight of shareholders over
the consistent payment of dividends by Zenith Bank, noting that the bank’s shares remain the
toast of investors because the bank has never failed to pay dividends to shareholders.
Also speaking on behalf of shareholders, the President of the Association of the Rights of
Nigerian Shareholders (AARNS), Dr Faruk Umar, said: “The bank is doing very well. All the
ratios and indices have gone up. And more importantly, while we were in the meeting, I got my
alert of the credit of my dividend. This is very commendable. The leadership of the bank has
been very effective; we thank Jim Ovia for the leadership he has been giving, he has increased
the dividend in spite of the economic hardship in the country, and I believe the GMD is doing
very well. I commend the management and staff of the bank, including the board, and I am very
confident that this year would also be very good for the bank.” Dr Faruk Umar also commended
the Group Managing Director for the numerous awards the bank received in 2021, especially
the sustainability awards.
In spite of a challenging macroeconomic environment aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic,
the Zenith Bank Group achieved year-on-year (YoY) growth in gross earnings of 10% from
NGN696.5 billion reported in the previous year to N765.6billion. This was on the back of a 23%
YoY growth in non-interest income from N251.7billion to N309billion and a 2% YoY growth in
interest income from N420.8billion to NGN427.6billion.
Profit before tax also grew by 10%, from NGN255.9 billion to NGN280.4 billion in the current
year. The increase was due to growth in the top-line and very strong management of the
treasury portfolio that increased efficiency, resulting in a drop in interest expense by 12% from
NGN121.1 billion in 2020 to NGN106.8 billion in the current year. This further led to a 7%
increase in net interest income of NGN320.8 billion in 2021 from NGN299.7 billion in 2020.
Customer deposits increased by 21%, growing from NGN5.34 trillion in the previous year to
NGN6.47 trillion in the current year. The growth in customer deposits came from both corporate
and retail customers. Retail deposits grew by NGN146 billion from NGN1.72 trillion in 2020 to
NGN1.87 trillion in 2021. The Group’s continuous drive for retail deposits combined with the
strategic rebalancing of its funding base helped to reduce the cost of funding from 2.1% to
1.5% in the current year. Although operating expenses grew by 13% YoY, growth remains
below the inflation rate, and the Group improved its Earnings per Share (EPS) which grew by
6% from NGN7.34 to NGN7.78.
Total assets increased by 11%, growing from NGN8.48 trillion in 2020 to NGN9.45 trillion in
2021, mainly driven by growth in customer deposits. With the steady recovery in economic
activities, the Group prudently grew its gross loans by 20%, from NGN2.9 trillion in 2020 to
NGN3.5 trillion in 2021, with moderated NPL ratio from 4.29% to 4.19% YoY. The Group
recorded impressive liquidity and capital adequacy ratios of 71.6% and 21.0%, which remained
above regulatory thresholds of 30% and 15%, respectively.
In recognition of its track record of excellent performance, Zenith Bank was voted as Best
Commercial Bank in Nigeria in the World Finance Banking Awards 2021, Best Bank in Nigeria
in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards 2020 and 2021, Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in
The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020, and Best in Corporate Governance ‘Financial
Services’ Africa 2020 and 2021 by the Ethical Boardroom. Also, the bank emerged as the Most
Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands 2020 and
2021, Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital in the “2021 Top 1000 World Banks”
Ranking by The Banker Magazine and the Retail Bank of the year at the BusinessDay Banks
and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Awards 2020 and 2021.
Similarly, Zenith Bank was honoured as Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay
Awards 2020 and emerged winner in four categories at the Sustainability, Enterprise, and
Responsibility (SERAS) Awards 2021, carting home the awards for “Best Company in
Reporting and Transparency”, “Best Company in Infrastructure Development”, “Best Company
in Gender Equality and Women Empowerment”, and the coveted “Most Responsible
Organisation in Africa.