Zenith Bank Ghana posted a pre-tax profit of GH¢202.6 million in 2016, the highest on record for the Bank. It also represents an increase of 76% over 2015 pre-tax income of GH¢115.1 million.
This remarkable performance means the Bank’s profit-before-tax margin rose to a remarkable 56.1%, after registering 30.5% in 2015. Return on assets (ROA) and return on equity (ROE) were respectively 4.1% and 24.4% in 2016, up from 3.3% and 19.1% in 2015.
The main factor underpinning the results was management’s commitment to pursue efficient banking operations with a view to reining in cost. In the light of this, total expenses fell by 39.4% to GH¢158.5 million and the cost-to-income ratio declined to 43.9% from 69.5% in 2015. Impairment loss on financial assets, which is a component of total expenses, was lower in 2016 at GH¢13.0 million, representing a 76.1% reduction from 2015. The Bank continues to invest to support growth in business, making major investments in information technology, people and branches.
Total operating income increased to GH¢361 million, representing a 75% increase over the 2015. Despite an unfavorable macroeconomic environment and declining margins experienced in the industry, the Bank was able to grow its non-interest income significantly by 268% to GH¢98 million.
In terms of balance sheet performance, total assets improved by 33.5% to GH¢3.4 billion, of which loans and advances to customers stood at GH¢1.0 billion after recording a growth rate of 2.9%. The stock of deposits mobilised from customers meanwhile increased by 30.6% to GH¢2.7 billion.
Commenting on the performance, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, Henry Oroh, said: “Delivering strong annual financial results is one of the hallmarks of our Bank, and we’re happy to be continuing in that tradition with our 2016 figures. Our cost-containment and risk-management initiatives have borne fruits, ensuring that we maintain strong profitability even in the face of pressures on margins.”
Paying tribute to the Bank’s staff, clients and other stakeholders, he said: “Our financial success is the culmination of the contributions of all our stakeholders, including our staff, clients, shareholders and partners. Our commitment to these stakeholders is to continually strengthen our service delivery and financial position, as this enables us to increase our impact on their lives and businesses and to make the critical investments that put us in the lead within the industry.”
On the outlook, the MD/CEO stated: “We intend to use our 2016 performance as a springboard to build an even stronger Bank through leveraging our assets, including our human capital as well as the strengths and values of our brand.”
Highlights of Zenith Bank’s operations in 2016 include the launch of GlobalPAY, which is a secure web-based collection gateway for merchants such as supermarkets, shopping malls, and large and small companies to sell their products and services online and receive real-time authenticated card payments from customers all over the world.
The Bank also launched its partnership with MasterCard for the issuance of Zenith MasterCard Debit, Credit and Prepaid cards. The Bank’s MasterCards can be used locally and internationally for payment of goods and services and for withdrawals from over 120 million ATMs worldwide. This strategic partnership is in fulfilment of the Bank’s commitment to the advancement of the nation’s cash lite society agenda.
A Service Quality Honour Code for staff was also introduced by the Bank during 2016. The Honour Code reiterates the Bank’s commitment to exceptional customer service with a charge to all staff to ensure this commitment is upheld by being each other’s keeper and holding each other accountable for the attainment of excellent customer service.
The year 2016 was also prolific for the Bank in terms of the awards it won. These included winner of the Most Cashless Bank in Ghana at the 2016 Ghana Banking Awards; winner of the Best e-Commerce Bank Ghana, 2016, Best Customer Service Bank Ghana, 2016 and Best Corporate Bank Ghana, 2016 at the Global Banking & Finance Review Awards; as well as winner of the Best Banking Group Ghana, 2016 from the World Finance Awards. It is worth noting that the Bank has won all these awards for a second straight year, having won them previously in the year 2015. Additionally, Zenith Bank was ranked as the 7th most prestigious company in the 2015 Ghana Club 100 list by the Ghana Investment Promotions Centre.
Zenith Bank continues to strategically position itself as a forerunner in the competitive Ghanaian banking landscape. As one if its strategies, the Bank has and will continue to redefine the customer experience to positively impact customer perception through its unique product and service offerings.
The Bank is committed to delivering a more personalized experience to its cherished customers in a bid to add value to their businesses and investments. This distinct value proposition is one the Bank identifies with and is reflective in its unique slogan for the year, ASPIRE.