Despite the challenging macroeconomic environment aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic, Zenith Bank Plc profit before tax rose by 4 percent to N61.0bn in the first three months of 2021 from N58bn recorded in similar period in 2020.
This is contained in the bank’s unaudited results for the first quarter ended 31st March 2021 presented to the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Friday, 30th April 2021.
In the report, Zenith Bank’s Profit After Tax (PAT) also grew by 5 percent from N50.5 billion in Q1 2020 to N53.1 billion in Q1 2021.
The Bank’s cost of funds reduced significantly from 2.6 percent in March 2020 to 1.1 percent in March 2021. This was also reflected in interest expense which dropped by 45 percent from N32.8 billion to N18.0 billion over the same period.
Non-interest income increased by 10 percent from N46.6 billion to N51.2 billion, driven by growth in credit-related fees and fees on electronic products.
Non-interest income was boosted by the increase in fees and commission income, which resulted from the increased volume of transactions across all the Bank’s channels. Cost of risk dropped from 0.6 percent in March 2020 to 0.5 percent in March 2021, which affirms the Bank’s prudent risk management, even as gross loans increased by 2 percent from N2.92 trillion to N2.98 trillion in Q1 2021.
The Bank’s robust customer acquisition strategy and the effectiveness of its electronic platforms and digital channels enabled it to deliver a N54 billion increment in the savings account balance, which is solely retail.
Similarly, customer deposits grew by 6 percent from N5.34 trillion in December 2020 to N5.68 trillion in March 2021. Transactions on electronic channels also grew astoundingly as new customers continue to be attracted to the Bank’s various user-friendly digital platforms.
Going forward in 2021, the Bank expects that the ongoing economic recovery and improvements in the yield environment will translate into improved numbers for the Group.
The Group, in the statement said it would continue to position itself to take advantage of positive developments in the domestic and global economy to deliver improved financial performance and returns to all its stakeholders.
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