Home » Nigerian banking magnate Jim Ovia’s Zenith Bank posts $486.4 million in profit in 2022

Nigerian banking magnate Jim Ovia’s Zenith Bank posts $486.4 million in profit in 2022

by Omokolade Ajayi
Jim Ovia

Zenith Bank Plc, a financial services group led by Nigerian banking tycoon Jim Ovia, reported a single-digit decline in earnings during the 2022 fiscal year, with its profit falling below $490 million for the period under review. 

According to figures contained in its recently published annual report, Zenith Bank’s profit declined by 8.4 percent, from N244.57 billion ($531.2 million) to N223.91 billion ($486.4 million).

The decline in the group’s earnings can be traced back to a significant increase in its impairment charge on both financial and non-financial instruments.

The charge rose from N59.93 billion ($130.2 million) to N123.25 billion ($267.7 million), which is largely attributed to the expected credit loss from its financial instruments. 

Its expected credit loss from its investment securities, other financial assets, loans, and advances, surged to N118.9 billion ($258.3 million), thus exacerbating the impact of the impairment charge on the group’s earnings.

Zenith Bank, despite experiencing a decline in profit, managed to increase its total assets from N9.45 trillion ($20.5 billion) to N12.29 trillion ($26.7 billion) and its retained earnings from N607.2 billion ($1.32 billion) to N625 billion ($1.36 billion). This indicates the bank’s continued growth and stability even in the face of challenging economic conditions.

Zenith Bank stands out as a top financial services provider in Nigeria and anglophone West Africa, licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria as a commercial bank. Presently, it holds the position of Nigeria’s most profitable bank and is the largest listed financial services group on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The founder of the leading tier-one bank, Ovia, has been instrumental in both the evolution and digital transformation of Nigerian banking. He owns a substantial 16.2-percent stake in the company, which equates to 5,072,104,311 ordinary shares.

Despite experiencing a decline in earnings, Zenith Bank’s Board of Directors has proposed a final dividend of N2.90 ($0.0063) per share. This dividend, combined with the interim dividend of N0.30 ($0.00065) per share, brings the bank’s total dividend payout to N3.2 ($0.0070) per share.

This decision demonstrates the bank’s commitment to its shareholders, including Ovia, who will receive a final dividend payout of N14.71 billion ($32 million) from his substantial stake in the company.

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