Zenith Bank’s total assets increased to N5.1trillon from N4.7trillion as at September 30, 2017.

With about 40 per cent increase in gross earnings to N531.27 billion, Zenith Bank Plc on Thursday announced 31 per cent growth in Profit Before Tax (PBT) for nine months ended September 30, 2017 on The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Despite macro environment challenges and current policy direction, the Group recorded PBT of N152.55 billion in nine months ended September 30, 2017 as against N116.6 billion reported in nine months ended September 30, 2016. From Zenith Bank income statement, Profit After Tax (PAT) rose by 35.5per cent to N129 billion against N95.4 billion reported in nine months of September 30, 2016.However, interest income and interest expenses gained 26.6 per cent and 67 per cent to N361 billion and N160 billion respectively to leverage 6.2 per cent increase in Net interest income to N201.49 billion in nine months ended September 30, 2017. The group’s Loans and advances moved to N2.15 trillion, 5.8 per cent drop from N2.29 trillion reported in full year ended December 31, 2016.

On the contrary, the group Customers’ deposits increased by 2.6 per cent to N3.06 trillion as at September 30, 2017 from N2.98 trillion in 2016. In all, the group total assets rose by 8.2 per cent to N5.1 trillion as at September 30, 2017 from N4.7 trillion reported in full year ended December 31, 2016.

The financial institution in statement had said, vowed to continue to grow its retail business especially in liability generation, stressing its commitment to be a dominant player in the money market space to drive up income and profitability going forward.

Analysts at FBNQuest Research, noted that, “Zenith Bank’s profit before provisions of N114billion showed a greater decline (-eight –per cent y/y), those on the provisions and opex lines proved significant, helping to limit the decline on the PBT line.

Both revenue lines contributed to the decline in profit before provisions: while funding income was flattish, non-interest income fell -16per cent y/y because of base effects.

“Also on a q/q basis, because of base effects again, the bank recorded a marked fall of -42 per cent q/q for non-interest income. Notwithstanding, non-interest income actually surprised positively, coming in much stronger than we had expected. Given a lackluster performance in funding income however, the impact of the better-than-expected non-interest income result was not felt. A significant positive surprise in loan loss provisions was the main reason for Zenith’s better-than-expected PBT (and PAT) result.

“The market is likely to take some time to digest these results. On the one hand, the y/y comparables show declines on revenues and earnings. And the q/q changes in revenue are also weak, similar to what we have observed for other tier 1 banks. On the other hand, the positive surprise on the provisions line is significant. Some will argue that Q4 may throw up some major negative surprises on this line in particular – effectively a justification to discount the surprise in Q3.”