Shareholders of Zenith Bank Plc will receive an interim dividend of 30 kobo per share for the first half of 2020 ended June 30, the company has announced.
In its financial statements released on Thursday, the firm said this will gulp N9.4 billion, the same amount paid in the same period of last year.
A look at the results presented by the board showed that in the first six months of the year, Zenith Bank increased its gross earnings to N346.1 billion from N331.6 billion as interest income rose to N217.0 billion from N214.6 billion, with the interest expense reducing to N59.6 billion from N72.1 billion, and the net interest income at N157.4 billion versus N142.5 billion in the first half of 2019.
It was observed that the rise in interest income was buoyed by loans and advances to customers and investment in government and other bonds.
In the period under review, the lender recorded N133.5 billion as net interest income after impairment loss on financial and non-financial instruments, higher than the N128.8 billion at the same time last year.
The bank said personnel expenses gulped N38.9 billion in H1 2020 in contrast to N38.7 billion in H1 2019 as a result of the increase in salaries and wages.
Also, a higher AMCON levy, information technology, fuel and maintenance, donations and others pushed its operating expenses up to N82.7 billion from N76.8 billion.
At the close of business on June 30, 2020, Zenith Bank had a profit before tax of N114.1 billion, higher than the N111.7 billion declared in the first half of 2019.
Also, the profit after tax improved despite the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown to N103.8 billion from N88.9 billion, while the earnings per share (EPS) jumped to N3.30 from N2.83.