Shareholders of Zenith Bank Plc have approved the proposal of the board to pay a final dividend of N2.45k per share to them as dividend for the 2017 financial year.
The approval was unanimously given at the 27th Annual General Meeting of the bank on Friday which was held in Abuja.
The approval of the N2.45k brings the total amount paid as dividend per share by the bank to N2.70k, following an interim dividend of 25k per share paid during the 2017 financial period.
Based on the analysis of the company’s annual report, there are about 31.396 million shares held by the shareholders of the company. When multiplied by the N2.70k per share dividend, the total dividend to be paid by the bank to its shareholders will be N84.77bn.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman of the bank, Mr. Jim Ovia, described the 2017 financial period as very challenging for operators in the banking industry.
He said despite the challenging operating environment, the bank was able to achieve improved performance in its financial results.
For instance, Ovia said that for the bank, total deposits were N2.74tn in 2017, representing an increase of eight per cent over the previous year’s figure of N2.55trn.
He said profit before tax rose by 24 per cent from N140bn in 2016 to N174bn in 2017, while total assets of the bank grew by 13 per cent from N4.28tn in 2016 to N4.83tn in 2017.
Similarly, he said shareholders’ funds rose by 15 per cent from N616bn in 2016 to N708bn; gross earnings also grew by 48 per cent from N455bn in 2016 to N674bn in the year under review.
He described the impressive financial results as a testament to the durability and resilience of the Zenith Bank brand.
He said, “The year 2017 was no doubt a very challenging year for operators in the banking industry due to a number of domestic and external factors. However, true to our track record, Zenith Bank was able to fully exploit the opportunities within the environment.
“This translated into an excellent performance that stands as a testament to the durability and resilience of the brand. Clearly, the results are once again a reflection of the exceptional financial health of the bank and the group.”
Also speaking at the event, the Group Managing Director, Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Peter Amangbo, said the management of the bank had made progress in its vision to entrench sustainability in its operations.
As technology becomes the focus of financial service delivery, he said the bank would continue to offer outstanding financial solutions that would be “anchored on a superb combination of technology and human touch for easy, fast and secure banking.”
On the outlook for the 2018 financial year, he said, “The succeeding year will be challenging from the perspective of competition, which traditionally evokes the best in us.”
Also, he added, “the year will come with its challenges and opportunities considering the highly competitive nature of the Nigerian market, the dynamics of contemporary service provision and variable customer expectations.”
As a strategy towards mitigating the impact of the challenging environment, the Zenith Bank GMD said the management of the bank would increase the quality of its engagement and be more proactive by anticipating fluctuations in the economy and markets.
Many of the shareholders who spoke at the event commended the bank management for delivering on its promise for a better dividend payment.
They said despite the challenges faced by operators in the industry, the bank was still able to grow its profit and assets during the 2017 financial period.