NIGERIA: Zenith Posts N95bn Profit, Pays N55bn Dividend

Much expected financial results of banks for the 2013 year have begun to hit the stock market as Zenith Bank Plc yesterday became the first to announce its audited results.
The bank reported profit after tax of N95 billion and recommended a dividend of N55 billion. Specifically, Zenith posted gross income of N351.5 billion for the year ended December 31, 2013, showing an increase of 14 per cent above the N307 billion posted in 2012. Interest income rose almost 18 per cent from N221 billion to N260 billion, while net interest income recorded a higher growth of 21 per cent to hit N156.8 billion, up from N189.3 billion in 2012. Profit before tax stood at N111 billion in 2013 as against N102 billion in 2012. However, high operating expenses and tax payment led to a drop in profit after tax. The bank paid a tax of N15 billion, indicating a jump of 977 per cent from N1.419 billion in 2012. Consequently, profit after tax fell by five per cent from N101 billion to N95.318 billion.
The directors recommended a dividend of N54.9 billion, which translate into N1.75 per share. The 2013 dividend is 9.3 per cent higher than the N1.60 paid in 2012. Considering the current price of Zenith Bank Plc the dividend yield stood at 8.1 per cent. A further analysis of the results showed that customers’ deposits rose 18 per cent from N1.929 trillion to N2.277 trillion. Return on average equity stood at 19.6 per cent, while return on average asset was 3.3 per cent.
Positive reaction to the results led to the shares of Zenith Bank to close higher at N21.99. Meanwhile, the stock market maintains its positive momentum with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index appreciated by 0.25 per cent to close at 39,269.40, while market capitalisation ended at N12.61 trillion. In percentage terms, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, International Energy Insurance Plc and Guinness Nigeria Plc led the price gainers with 4.95 per cent, 4.92 per cent and 4.82 per cent respectively.

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