Zenith Bank Plc has announced its unaudited results for the first quarter ended 31st March 2020, with profit before tax rising by 3% to N58.7 billion.
According to the unaudited account which was presented to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Wednesday 29th April 2020, the Group’s profit before tax improved 3% from N57.3 billion in the prior-year period to N58.8 billion in March 2020. The increased profits benefited from the twin effects of continuing top-line growth and focused cost-of-funds optimisation. The Bank’s cost of funds declined significantly from 3.0% in March 2019 to 2.6% in the quarter, translating to a 10% decrease in interest expense dropping from N36.3 billion in March 2019 to N32.8 billion in the quarter. Despite this drop, the low yield environment necessitated the repricing of interest-bearing assets which in turn resulted in a 13% compression in net interest margin, decreasing from 8.9% in March 2019 to 7.7% in the current period.
The Group also recorded a 6% increase in Gross Earnings from N158.1 billion in March 2019 to N166.8 billion for the period. This top-line growth was driven by the 43% expansion in non-interest income from N32.7 billion in the prior-year period to N46.6 billion in March 2020.