Zenith Bank Shareholders Get N125.59bn Dividend Payout

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Zenith Bank shareholders are to receive a record dividend payout after the final dividend payment approval of NGN3.50 per share, bringing the total dividend for the 2023 financial year to NGN4.00 per share, with a total value of NGN125.59 billion, the highest dividend payout by any bank.

 

Jim Ovia, Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, thanked the shareholders at the 33rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Wednesday, 8 May 2024, for their unflinching support and loyalty to the Zenith brand, which has been instrumental to the bank’s consistently superior performance.

 

Speaking on the dividend payout, Bisi Bakare, National Coordinator of the Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria, expressed her delight in the bank’s exceptional performance, as evidenced by the numerous awards received during the 2023 financial year.

 

She remarked, “We shareholders are pleased today to receive a final dividend of N3.50 kobo from Zenith Bank. Following an interim dividend of 50 kobo paid last December, the total dividend for the 2023 Annual General Meeting amounts to N4.00— the highest in the banking sector to date. We truly appreciate this and are optimistic that transitioning to a Holding Company will bring greater returns. Zenith Bank’s numerous accolades this year position it as the leading bank in the country. We anticipate that the 2024 AGM, marking the first year as a Holding Company, will be even more promising for Zenith.”

 

Faruk Umar, President of the Association of the Rights of Nigerian Shareholders (AARNS), expressed his gratitude to the Chairman for facilitating a seamless succession plan. He stated, “The bank has performed exceptionally well, particularly regarding succession planning. It’s encouraging to see the new Managing Director promoted from within, reinforcing our belief in the bank’s leadership development. This internal promotion strategy motivates our staff, giving them the confidence to aspire to the highest levels within the bank.”

 

Timothy Adesiyan, President of the Shareholders Solidarity Association of Nigeria, praised the Chairman and Management of Zenith Bank for their consistent delivery of value to shareholders. He noted, “The bank’s rapid growth can be attributed to the diligent oversight by our Founder, who is also a core investor and actively monitors all operations. Our adherence to strict corporate governance principles further supports this growth. The bank’s performance metrics are delineated and managed by dedicated committees, ensuring accountability and responsiveness. As a stakeholder, I am very pleased with their performance and attentive response to any concerns raised.”

 

The Group Managing Director, Ebenezer Onyeagwu, thanked Jim Ovia for his mentorship, which has been instrumental to his success in the last five years as CEO, and for providing the pedestal for the bank’s continued superior performance.

 

He said, “As I prepare to pass the baton to Dame Adaora Umeoji, I am confident in the bank’s trajectory under her leadership. I want to express my profound gratitude to our Founder and Chairman, Dr Jim Ovia, CFR, and the board, shareholders, customers, and staff for their steadfast support throughout my tenure. I earnestly request that you extend the same support to my successor. It has been a remarkable journey, and I am immensely proud of what we have accomplished together. As I commence the mandatory regulatory cooling-off period, I am optimistic for Zenith Bank’s future and assure you we are on the path to even greater success.”

 

Despite challenging macroeconomic conditions coupled with economic headwinds, Zenith Bank Group achieved a remarkable triple-digit growth of 125 per cent in gross earnings, from NGN945.6 billion in the previous year to NGN2.132 trillion in 2023. This was driven by a 112 per cent YoY growth in interest income and a 141 per cent YoY growth in non-interest income. Customer deposits grew by 69 per cent, reflecting the bank’s market leadership and customers’ trust. Operating expenses grew by 32 per cent YoY. Total assets rose by 66 per cent, mainly due to growth in total deposits and the revaluation of foreign currency deposits.

 

In 2024, Zenith Bank Group plans to expand its reach following its restructuring into a holding company structure, adding new verticals to its businesses and pursuing growth in all chosen markets, locally and internationally.

 

Zenith Bank’s track record of excellent performance has continued to earn the brand numerous awards, including being recognised as Best Bank in Nigeria, for the fourth time in five years, from 2020 to 2022 and in 2024, in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards; the Best Bank for Digital Solutions in Nigeria in the Euromoney Awards 2023, being listed in the World Finance Top 100 Global Companies in 2023; being recognised as the Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital, for the 14th consecutive year, in the 2023 Top 1000 World Banks Ranking published by The Banker Magazine; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria, for three straight years from 2021 to 2023, in the World Finance Banking Awards; Best Corporate Governance Bank, Nigeria in the World Finance Corporate Governance Awards 2022 and 2023; Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020 and 2022; Best in Corporate Governance’ Financial Services’ Africa, for four successive years from 2020 to 2023, by the Ethical Boardroom; Most Sustainable Bank, Nigeria in the International Banker 2023 Banking Awards; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria and Best Innovation in Retail Banking, Nigeria in the International Banker 2022 Banking Awards.

 

Also, the bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands 2020 and 2021; Bank of the Year 2023 and Retail Bank of the Year for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, at the BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards. Similarly, Zenith Bank was named Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020, Bank of the Year 2021 by Champion Newspaper, Bank of the Year 2022 by New Telegraph Newspaper, and Most Responsible Organisation in Africa 2021 by SERAS.