Zenith Bank Plc half year 2017 profit after tax grew by 112.36 per cent to N75.317 billion from N35.467 billion recorded a year earlier. In a filing from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the group’s pre-tax profit also rose by 71.01 per cent from N53.905 billion to N92.183 billion during the period under review. Similarly, gross earnings increased by 77.10 per cent from N214.812 billion to N380.440 billion.
Based on the report, the Board of Directors, pursuant to the powers vested in it by the provisions of section 379 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) of Nigeria, proposed an interim dividend of 25 kobo per share from the retained earnings account as at 30 June 2017.
This will be presented for ratification by the shareholders at the next Annual General Meeting (AGM). If the proposed dividend is ratified by the shareholders, the Bank will be liable to pay tax in advance N3.73 billion, representing 30 per cent of the taxable profit of N12.43 billion for the period ended 30 June, 2017.
Payment of dividends is however, subject to withholding tax at a rate of 10 per cent in the hand of qualified recipients. The lender had also in 2016 paid an interim dividend of 25 kobo per share and final of 177 kobo per share to its shareholders.
Addressing the shareholders at the last AGM, Chairman of the Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Jim Ovia, said despite the challenging operating environment, the lender was able to fully exploit the available opportunities to post the impressive results. He said in line with its commitment to delivering superior returns to its much-valued shareholders, the bank ensured that a good chunk of the profit is set aside for them.
“In this regard, we have declared and paid you an interim dividend of 25 kobo per share in the course of 2016 financial year. We hereby propose a final dividend of 177 kobo per share. “This brings the total dividend for the year ended December 31, 2016 to 202 kobo per share as against 180 kobo per share paid the previous year,” Ovia said.
He stated that even in the face of a very challenging operating environment, Zenith Bank has maintained its culture of outstanding performance and industry leadership. “As a bank, we are monitoring developments both in the local and global economy and applying pragmatism and dynamism as appropriate.
Our strategy and approach to the pursuit of financial inclusion and sustainability gives us a lot of competitive advantage to explore even new frontiers in the market,” he said. Speaking in the same vein, Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank, Mr. Peter Amangbo, said as an institution of well-primed people, the bank relied on a its pool of exceptional staff to make sound and timely decision and addressed issues in a manner that anticipated developments and demonstrated excellent understanding of the dynamics of market and economy in 2016.