Zenith Bank Plc has announced its audited results for the year ending December 31, 2022,achieving an impressive double-digit growth of 24% in gross earnings from NGN765.6billion reported in the previous year to NGN945.5 billion in 2022. This is despite thepersistent challenging macroeconomic environment and headwinds.
According to the audited financial results for the 2022 financial year presented to theNigerian Exchange (NGX), the double-digit growth in gross earnings was driven by a 26%year-on-year (YoY) growth in interest income from NGN427.6 billion to N540.2 billion and a23% year-on-year (YoY) growth in non-interest income from NGN309 billion to NGN381billion. Profit before tax also grew by 2% from NGN280.4 billion to NGN284.7 billion in thecurrent year. The increase in profit before tax was due to the significant growth in all theincome lines.Impairments grew by 107% from NGN59.9 billion to NGN124.2 billion, while interestexpense grew 63% YoY from N106.8 billion to N173.5 billion, respectively.
The impairmentgrowth, which also resulted in an increase in the cost of risk (from 1.9% in 2021 to 3.3% inthe current year), was due to the impact of Ghana's sovereign debt restructuringprogramme. The growth in interest expense increased the cost of funds from 1.5% in 2021to 1.9% in 2022 due to hikes in interest rates globally. Customer deposits increased by 39%, growing from NGN6.47 trillion in the previous year toNGN8.98 trillion in the current year. The growth in customer deposits came from allproducts and deposit segments (corporate and retail), thus consolidating the bank’s marketleadership and indicating customers' trust.
The continued elevated yield environment positively impacted the bank’s Net-Interest-Margin (NIM), which grew from 6.7% to 7.2% due to an effective repricing of interest-bearing assets. Operating expenses grew by 17% YoY, but growth remains below theinflation rate. Total assets increased by 30%, growing from NGN9.45 trillion in 2021 toNGN12.29 trillion, mainly driven by growth in customer deposits. With the steady andcontinued recovery in economic activities, the Group prudently grew its gross loans by 20%,from NGN3.5 trillion in 2021 to NGN4.1 trillion in 2022, which increased the Non-PerformingLoan (NPL) ratio modestly from 4.2% to 4.3% YoY. The capital adequacy ratio decreasedfrom 21% to 19%, while the liquidity ratio improved from 71.2% to 75%. Both prudentialratios are well above regulatory thresholds.
In 2023, the Group intends to expand its frontiers as it also reorganises into a holdingcompany structure, adding new verticals to its businesses and growing in all its chosenmarkets, both locally and internationally.As a testament to its commitment to shareholders, the bank has announced a proposedfinal dividend payout of N2.90 per share, bringing the total dividend to N3.20 per share.
In recognition of its track record of excellent performances, Zenith Bank was recognised asthe Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital, for the 13th consecutive year, in the2022 Top 1000 World Banks Ranking published by The Banker Magazine; Bank of the Year(Nigeria) in The Banker's Bank of the Year Awards 2020 and 2022; Best Bank in Nigeria, forthree consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, in the Global Finance World's Best BanksAwards; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria 2021 and 2022 in the World Finance BankingAwards; Best Corporate Governance Bank, Nigeria in the World Finance CorporateGovernance Awards 2022; Best in Corporate Governance' Financial Services' Africa, forthree consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, by the Ethical Boardroom; Best CommercialBank, Nigeria and Best Innovation In Retail Banking, Nigeria in the International Banker2022 Banking Awards. Also, the bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand inNigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands 2020 and 2021, and Retail Bankof the year, for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, at the BusinessDay Banks andOther Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards. Similarly, Zenith Bank was named as Bank ofthe Decade (People's Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020, Most Innovative Bank of theYear 2019 by Tribune Newspaper, Bank of the Year 2020 by Independent Newspaper,Bank of the Year 2021 by Champion Newspaper, Bank of the Year 2022 by New TelegraphNewspaper, and Most Responsible Organisation in Africa 2021 by SERAS Awards.
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