For increasing shareholders value on investment through robust dividend payout and adherence to corporate governance principles, shareholders’ of Zenith Bank Plc have commended the lender’s board on its 2014 performance, as they approve a dividend of N1.75 kobo per share.
Speaking at the yearly general meeting of the bank in Lagos, on Thursday, the National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Sir Sunny Nwosu, expressed satisfaction with the state of affairs in the financial institution, especially for abiding by strict corporate governance principles and sustaining its profitability.
He also commended the management on the improved performance recorded during the year under review, submitting that with the 11 per cent growth in customer deposit to N2.54 trillion and reduction in the non-performing loans, the future of the bank is secured.
Nwosu therefore, advised the bank to work on its fines and penalties charges from the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), noting that “shareholders’ money will not be used to pay fines and penalties, as they should hold the boards and directors responsible. Let them pay the money or the stock would be suspended from trading on the Exchange and the board will be careful in running the affairs of the bank.”
The President, Nigerian Shareholders Solidarity Association, Timothy Adesiyan, also commended the management for the impressive performance and efficient running of the company, amid harsh economic environment.
He applauded the company on its dividend, noting that it is the highest so far in the industry.
He commended the bank for putting its cost and administrative expenses under control during the year under review, adding that the company has continued to operate in a transparent manner.
“All indices kept growing, we appreciate their strategy, especially in the areas of training and developing the workforce. We appreciate the performance indicators and overall result of the bank,” he said.
The bank’s audited results for the 2014 financial year showed 8.3 per cent increase in Profit Before Tax (PBT), as the Group’s PBT rose from N110.597 billion to N119.79 billion in the review period, while its profit after tax edged up by 4.3 per cent to N99.45 billion from N95.318 billion in the previous year.
This followed a 14.76 per cent year-on-year growth in gross earnings. Gross earnings rose from N351.470 billion to N403.343 billion.
Earnings per share were up by 4.98 per cent to N3.16 from N3.01, while total assets jumped by 16.3 per cent to N3.75 trillion from N3.14 trillion in 2013.
The group also increased its loans and advances by 38.21 per cent to N1.73 trillion from N1.25 trillion.