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Zenith Bank shareholders endorse N62.7bn dividend

By The Citizen
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Shareholders of Zenith International Bank plc have approved the payment of N62.79 billion dividends earlier recommended by Board of Directors of the bank for the year ended December 31, 2015. This translates to N1.80 per share dividend payable to shareholders whose names appeared on the register of members as at March 24, 2016.

Speaking on behalf of other shareholders at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos,  the trio of Sir Sunny Nwosu, National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria ( ISAN); Mr. Boniface Okezie,  National Chairman,  Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria ( PSAN); and Timothy Adesinya commended the bank on the performance and dividend recommended,  saying that it is in tandem with shareholders' expectations.

They observed that the performance was commendable in view of the global economic climate,  regulatory headwinds and inconsistent policy pronouncements under which the bank operated.

Sir Sunny Nwosu also commended the bank for achieving 2.2 per cent Non-performing Loan (NPL) ratio, which is far below five per cent regulatory requirements.

Earlier in his address, the Chairman,  Mr. Jim Ovia, said: '2015 has been an interesting,  challenging and successful year for Zenith Bank. However, the concerted efforts of all our stakeholders made it possible for us to sustain our profitability streak in the year.

'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 domestic and global economy, and applying pragmatism and dynamism as appropriate.'

Laying the financial results before the shareholders,  Ovia disclosed that the Group profit before tax grew by 4.9 per cent from N119.80 billion in year 201 to N125.62 billion. Profit after tax, according to him, jumped by 6.2 per cent during the period from N99.45 billion to N105.66 billion.

The Group total assets similarly rose by 6.7 per cent from N3.76 trillion in 2014 to N4.01 trillion in 2015, while customers deposits grew marginally by 0.8 per cent from N2.54 trillion to N2.56 trillion.

Group shareholders fund grew by 7.5 per cent from N552.64 billion in 2014 to N594.35 billion; gross earnings similarly grew by 7.2 per cent from N403.34 billion to N432.53 billion in 2015 he said.

In his remarks,  the Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Peter Amangbo, said: 'The core philosophy for us is to continuously adjust to the fluctuating appetite and complexity of the customer and remain a customer-centric institution that delights in the success of its customers and businesses.

'Also, we have enhanced our progress in leveraging our innovative credentials through a strategic determination to further momentum in the retail end of the market. In line with market realities, we shall review and assess the best use of our resources to maximise return. ' – Vanguard.