Onyeagwu Sustains His Winning Streak as Zenith Posts Impressive Q1 Results
Just as has been the trend since Ebenezer Onyeagwu assumed the position of Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank Plc, the financial institution last week announced an impressive unaudited results for the first quarter (Q1) ending 31st March 2023.The results came in with an exceptional double-digit growth of 41 per cent in gross earnings, increasing from N191.5 billion in Q1 2022, to N270 billion in Q1 2023.
Also, the unaudited statement of account submitted to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX), indicated that the significant double-digit growth in the topline also boosted the bottom line, with the Group experiencing an impressive 27 per cent year-on-year (YoY) increase in Profit Before Tax (PBT), which rose from N68 billion in Q1 2022, to N86.6 billion in Q1 2023.
It also showed that Zenith Bank’s Profit After Tax (PAT) also grew by 13 per cent, from N58.2 billion to N66 billion during the same period. The growth in the topline was propelled by substantial increases in both interest income and non-interest income. Furthermore, the bank’s interest income surged by 52 per cent from N126.4 billion in Q1 2022, to N191.6 billion in Q1 2023, while non-interest income expanded by 27 per cent from N57.2 billion to N72.8 billion. The growth in interest income was attributed to the impact of risk asset repricing, while the increase in non-interest income primarily resulted from loan recoveries and foreign currency revaluation gains.
Regarding efficiency, the cost-to-income ratio improved from 55 per cent to 53.4 per cent in the current period, supported by a bolstered income line.The cost of risk also moderated from 0.8 per cent to 0.7 per cent during the same period due to an enlarged loan book. However, Zenith Bank’s cost of funding doubled YoY from 1.3 percent in Q1 2022 to 2.7 percent in Q1 2023, owing to a considerable spike in interest rates between both periods as interest expense grew from N25.8 billion in Q1 2022 to N70.8 billion in Q1 2023.This impacted the net interest margin (NIM), which reduced from 7.3 per cent to 6.9 per cent over the same period.Total assets expanded by nine per cent from N12.29 trillion in December 2022, to N13.36 trillion in March 2023, primarily driven by growth in customer deposits and other funding sources, such as borrowings.
In addition, the results showed that in the review period, Zenith Bank’s customer deposits increased by two per cent from N8.98 trillion in December 2022, to N9.14 trillion in March 2023.Loans and advances also experienced marginal growth of one per cent from N4.12 trillion in December 2022, to N4.15 trillion in March 2023 as customers continued to adjust to the full impact of higher rates on risk assets.Both the capital adequacy and liquidity ratios remained robust at 19.5 percent and 72 per cent, respectively, with both prudential ratios comfortably exceeding regulatory thresholds.
“In 2023, the Group will maintain its focus on sustainable growth across all business segments as it restructures into a holding company, introduces new verticals to its businesses, and expands into new frontiers,” the bank explained.Zenith Bank’s consistent record of outstanding performance has garnered numerous accolades for the brand, including being acknowledged as the Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital for the 13th consecutive year in the 2022 Top 1000 World Banks Ranking published by The Banker Magazine.
The bank has also received the Bank of the Year (Nigeria) title in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020 and 2022, as well as the Best Bank in Nigeria award for three consecutive years, from 2020 to 2022, in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards.The positive Q1 2023 results came few weeks after it released its full year 2022 financial results, which reflected the leadership direction Zenith Bank has been enjoying under the leadership of Onyeagwu.Specifically, in the audited results for the year ending December 31, 2022, Zenith Bank achieved an impressive double-digit growth of 24 per cent in gross earnings, from N765.6 billion reported in the previous year to N945.5 billion in 2022.This was despite the persistent challenging macroeconomic environment and headwinds. According to the audited financial results for the 2022 financial year presented to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX), the double-digit growth in gross earnings was driven by a 26 per cent year-on-year (YoY) growth in interest income from N427.6 billion to N540.2 billion and a 23 per cent year-on-year (YoY) growth in non-interest income from N309 billion to N381 billion.Zenith Bank blazed the trail in digital banking in Nigeria; scoring several firsts in the deployment of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure to create innovative products that meet the needs of its teeming customers. The bank is verifiably a leader in the deployment of various channels of banking technology, and the Zenith brand has become synonymous with the deployment of state-of-the-art technologies in banking. Driven by a culture of excellence and strict adherence to global best practices, the Bank has combined vision, skillful banking expertise, and cutting-edge technology to create products and services that anticipate and meet customers’ expectations; enable businesses to thrive and grow wealth for customers.With a team of dedicated professionals, the bank leverages its robust Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure to provide cutting-edge solutions and products through its network of branches and electronic/digital channels. Zenith Bank under Onyeagwu’s watch has remained committed to sustaining the legacy of its visionary Founder and Chairman, Mr. Jim Ovia, whose pioneering and foundational role in building the structures and laying the foundation ensured an enduring and very successful institution. In recognition of his sterling contribution towards ensuring the stability of Zenith Bank, Onyeagwu was recently conferred with a doctorate by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN). Inspiring in silence and action, Onyeagwu is a sure-footed leader of men with a sense of corporate clairvoyance. He makes today’s Zenith Bank thick, illustrated by the bank’s agile organisation, enduring conducive corporate culture and cordial stakeholders’ relations. Futuristic in thought and approach, Onyeagwu, as a transformational leader, is committed to Zenith Bank’s vision that promotes re-engineering and innovation.Onyeagwu is a Fellow (FCA) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), the Institute of Credit Administrators (ICA) and Senior Associate Member, Risk Management Institute of Nigeria (RIMAN). Onyeagwu is the Chairman of the Body of Banks’ Chief Executive Officers, Nigeria and Chairman of Zenith Pensions Custodian Limited and Zenith Nominees Limited. He is also on the Board of Zenith Bank (UK) Limited, FMDQ Holdings Plc and Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF). Onyeagwu is a member of the International Monetary Conference (IMC), the Wall Street Journal CEO Council, member of the African Trade Gateway Advisory Council of the Africa Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), and member of the Governing Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN). He also served on the board of Zenith Bank Ghana Limited, Zenith General Insurance, Zenith Securities Limited, Zenith Assets Management Company, Zenith Medicare Limited, and Africa Finance Corporation (AFC). Since assuming the Zenith Bank’s mantle of leader on June 1, 2019, Onyeagwu’s myriad exploits have solidified his sterling leadership qualities. The award, which was in recognition of his immense achievements as the GMD and CEO of Zenith Bank and his contributions to the growth of the financial services sector in Nigeria and the African continent, was conferred on him during the 50th convocation ceremony of the university.Speaking during the ceremony, the UNN Vice-Chancellor, Prof Charles Igwe, had congratulated Onyeagwu for distinguishing himself in his career and for his service to humanity, which made him worthy to receive the prestigious Doctorate Degree from Nigeria’s first indigenous university. In his acceptance speech, Onyeagwu expressed his gratitude to UNN for finding him a worthy recipient of the honorary doctoral degree in Business Administration of one of the leading universities in Nigeria, considering the rigorous selection process of awardees by the institution.In 2023, the Zenith Bank Group intends to expand its frontiers as it also reorganises into a holding company structure, adding new verticals to its businesses and growing in all its chosen markets, both locally and internationally. In order to realise this, the bank recently received approval-in-principle from the Central Bank of Nigeria to convert its present operational structure to a holding company. Once substantive authorisation is received, the bank would get a licence to transit into other businesses within financial services including pensions, insurance, asset management and fintech. “The CBN approved Mr. Jim Ovia as the chairman of Zenith Holdco Plc (in-formation) and for Mr. Jim Ovia to also continue as the chairman of Zenith Bank Plc until the commencement of Zenith Holdco Plc,” the lender explained.Zenith Holdco will run in a non-operating capacity only overseeing the subsidiaries under it without getting actively involved in their everyday operations. This would allow Zenith engage in certain additional permissible activities not possible for a commercial bank.
– thisdaylive.com –