The Zenith Bank Plc has announced its unaudited results for the first quarter ended 31st March 2021, with Profit Before Tax (PBT) rising by 4 per cent to N61 billion, from N58.8bn recorded in March 2020.
According to a statement by the bank, the milestone was realised despite a very challenging macroeconomic environment aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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According to the unaudited statement of account presented to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday, Profit After Tax (PAT) also grew by 5 per cent from N50.5bn in Q1 2020 to N53.1bn in Q1 2021.
The bank’s management said the profitability was driven by the optimisation of the cost of funds and improvement in non-interest income.
The bank’s cost of funds reduced significantly from 2.6 per cent in March 2020 to 1.1 per cent in March 2021. This was also reflected in interest expense which dropped by 45 per cent from N32.8bn to N18bn over the same period.
Non-interest income increased by 10 per cent from N46.6bn to N51.2bn, driven by growth in credit-related fees and fees on electronic products.
It also said the cost of risk dropped from 0.6 per cent in March 2020 to 0.5 per cent in March 2021, which affirms the bank’s prudent risk management, even as gross loans increased by 2 per cent from N2.92trn to N2.98trn in Q1 2021.
The bank’s robust customer acquisition strategy and the effectiveness of its electronic platforms and digital channels enabled it to deliver N54bn increment in the savings account balance, which is solely retail while customer deposits grew by 6 per cent from N5.34trn in December 2020 to N5.68trn in March 2021.