In its remarks, the management of the Zenith Bank Group stated: “The performance for the quarter ended 31st March, 2017 affirms Zenith’s continued leadership in the Nigerian financial services industry.
The Group reported gross revenues of N147.7 billion representing a significant increase of 48.6% over the same period of the previous financial year. Furthermore, The Group’s results for the first quarter of 2017, also shows an increase of 40.3% and 93.7% (Y-o-Y) to N118.1 billion and N29.6 billion in interest income and non-interest income respectively. Profit before Tax (PBT) and Profit after Tax (PBT) improved significantly by 37.6% and 41.1% to N44.2 billion and 37.5 billion respectively.
Though operational expenses increased by 24.2%, driven by general inflationary pressures and a tough operating environment, this was effectively mitigated as the Group was able to deliver a reduction in its cost-to-income ratio to 52.1% in the current period ended March 2017 as against 54.7% in the comparable period of 2016.
The Group’s approach to cautiously growing its risk assets led to the marginal growth of 2.8% in loans and advances closing at N2.43tn as at 31st March, 2017. Deposits remained stable closing the period at N2.99 trillion, a muted growth of 0.4% from December 2016. The Group reported a liquidity ratio of 66% which is more than twice the 30% minimum statutory requirement for the period ended 31st March, 2017 and a Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of 22% which is well above the 15% regulatory limit.
Given the emerging stability in the FX market and international oil prices along with the moderation of inflation, management’s outlook remains very positive barring any unforeseen circumstances. Furthermore, the Group is strategically positioned to explore opportunities to grow its customer base and risk assets across targeted sectors of the economy. The Group will continue to emphasize on cost optimisation, agriculture and the real sectors while providing support to local production and manufacturing."