Story by Kayode Tokede
Leading Nigeria banks in profit, Guaranty Trust Bank plc and Zenith bank plc have reported N227.46 billion Profit Before Tax (PBT) in first half year (H1) of 2019, Nigerian NewsDirect can report.
This is 4.8per cent increase from N216.99 billion PBT reported in first half year ended June 30, 2018.
Amid economy challenges over 2019 general elections and global economy uncertainty, both financial institutions sustained profitability and maintained dividend payout to shareholders.
The management of both banks proposed N0.30 interim dividend per ordinary share of 50 kobo each for period ended June 30, 2019.
Specifically, GTBank recorded 5.6 per cent increase in PBT to N115.8 billion in H1 2019 from N109.6 billion in H1 2018 while Zenith Bank’s PBT grew by four per cent to N114.7billion in H1 2019 from N107.4billion reported in H1 2018.
In terms of profit for the period, both banks reported N188 billion profit, a six per cent increase from N177.32 billion reported in prior year half year result and accounts.
In terms of percentage, Zenith Bank reported nearly nine per cent increase in profit to N88.9 billion in H1 2019 from N81.7 billion in H1 2018.
With nearly four per cent increase in profit, GTBank now the most profitability bank in Nigeria with N99billion reported in H1 2019 from N95.58 billion reported in H1 2018.
Our correspondent gathered that, Ecobank Transactional Incorporated (ETI) plc joins above financial institutions with N59.49 profit, while FBN Holdings Plc recorded N31.7 billion profit in the period under review.
The management of Zenith Bank said, “Gross earnings grew by three per cent from N322.2 billion to N331.6 billion driven by a significant growth of 24per cent (YoY) in non-interest income from N88.6 billion in H1 2018 to N109.7 billion in H1 2019.
“In particular, fees from electronic products increased by N17billion (168per cent) from N10billion in H1 2018 to N27 in H1 2019, demonstrating significant progress in our retail banking initiatives.
“This topline growth filtered through to the bottom-line as Profit Before Tax (PBT) increased to N111.7 billion reflecting a four per cent growth over N107.4 billion reported in H1 2018 with earnings per share (EPS) increasing by nine per cent to N2.83 in H1 2019 from N2.60 compared to the prior period.
The management of Zenith bank added that, “Going into the second half of the year, we will continue to consolidate our leadership in the corporate space while our retail banking drive will continue unabated.
“We expect to see an improvement in economic activities even as we maintain our promise of delivering a unique service experience to our customers.”
The Chief Executive Officer of GTBank, Segun Agbaje, in a statement said “We have delivered a good result inspite of a challenging market, characterized by varying degrees of uncertainty and a rapidly changing competitive landscape. Our strong financial performance is underpinned by our unwavering focus on delivering value for our shareholders and reimagining the role we play in our customers’ lives.”
He further stated that “In a rapidly changing world and increasingly unpredictable environment, we are committed to building a long-term business that is both nimble and focused on flawless execution. The progress that we have made over the past six months demonstrates that we have the right strategy and the dedicated team to deliver for all our stakeholders, even in difficult conditions.”