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Zenith Bank earns N781bn in Q1 2024

Zenith Bank Plc has announced its unaudited results for the first quarter ended 31st March 2024, with an impressive triple-digit growth of 189% in Gross Earnings, from N270 billion reported in Q1 2023 to N781 billion in Q1 2024.

According to the bank, the result was achieved despite the challenging operating environment and tightening monetary policy stance.

This was contained in the unaudited statement of account submitted to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) even as profit before tax (PBT) rose to N320 billion in Q1 2024, representing an increase of 270% from the N87 billion reported in Q1 2023.

Profit after tax (PAT) equally grew by 291% from the N66 billion reported in Q1 2023 to N258 billion in the current period.

Interest and non-interest income contributed significantly to the growth in gross earnings.

The results further showed that interest income grew by 155% from the N192 billion reported in the quarter ended March 2023 to N489 billion in the period to 31 March 2024.

It attributed the growth in interest income to the repricing of risk assets, due to the increase in the central bank’s Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), which currently stands at 24.75%.

The Group reported an impairment charge of N56 billion for Q1 2024, up from N8 billion recorded in Q1 2023. This is attributable to significant growth in risk assets, primarily driven by the revaluation of its USD loans, which necessitated additional impairment on the bank’s foreign currency-denominated loans.

The cost of funds grew by 48% from 2.7% in Q1 2023 to 4% in Q1 2024 due to the high-interest rate environment, while interest expense increased by 157% from N71 billion reported in Q1 2023 to N182 billion in the period to March 2024.

Notwithstanding the year-on-year (YoY) increase in interest expense, net interest margin (NIM) grew by 20% from 6.9% in the 3 months ended March 2023 to 8.3% in the current period ending 31 March 2024. Return on Average Equity (ROAE) and Return on Average Assets (ROAA) increased year-on-year (YoY) by 114% and 119%, respectively, due to improved profitability.

Gross loans, which are largely funded by customer deposits, grew by 30% from N7.1 trillion in December 2023 to N9.2 trillion in March 2024. Customer deposits also grew by 11% from N15.2 trillion in December 2023 to N16.8 trillion in March 2024, underpinning continued customer confidence in the Zenith brand. Total assets increased by 19% to N24 trillion within the same period.

The Group said it is making progress on the planned capital raise to support future growth and is very optimistic about meeting the new minimum capital requirements in line with the CBN’s recapitalisation directive.

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