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Zenith tops chart as four banks record N431bn profit in nine months

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Investors in the banking sector are set to reap higher returns at the end of the year as four leading banks have reported a combined profit of N430.94 billion in their results for the nine months ended September 30, 2019.

The banks, Zenith Bank Plc, GTBank, United Bank for Africa Plc and FBN Holdings Plc, also reported total assets of N19.95 trillion.

An analysis of the numbers showed that Zenith Bank Plc led with the highest profitability and total assets.

Zenith Bank ended the nine months with a profit after tax (PAT) of N150.7 billion, compared with N144.2 billion posted in the corresponding period of 2018.

GTBank closely followed with a PAT of N146.9 billion, up from N142.2 billion.

UBA posted PAT of N81.6 billion, which is 32.2 per cent above the N61.7 billion it made in the corresponding period of 2018. FBN Holdings Plc ended the nine months with N51.74 billion, compared with N44.8 billion in 2018.

In terms of assets, Zenith Bank led with N5.97 trillion, followed by FBN Holdings Plc with N5.73 trillion.

UBA ended the period with total assets of N4.96 trillion while GTBank recorded N3.29 trillion.

Zenith Bank, which is the leader in terms of highest profit and assets, said its cost optimisation strategies and aggressive retail banking drive were yielding the desired effects as cost-to-income ratio declined from 51.2 per cent in 2018 to 50.1 per cent 2019 with earnings per share (EPS) growing by five from N4.58 to N4.80 in 2019.

“Our retail and corporate banking franchises continued its momentum with customers’ deposits growing by seven per cent to N3.95 trillion from N3.69 trillion recorded as at December 2018, a reflection of increasing share of the industry’s deposits and customers’ confidence in the Zenith brand. These deposit acquisitions have directly contributed to our cost of funds improving from 3.3 per cent in 2018 to 2.95 per cent in 2019,” the bank said in a statement.