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[NIGERIA] Jim Ovia’s Zenith Bank surpasses expectations with $143 million in profit in Q1 2023


Zenith Bank, a Lagos-based financial services group headed by Nigerian banking mogul Jim Ovia, rebounded impressively in the first quarter of 2023 after reporting a single-digit percent decline in earnings at the end of its 2022 fiscal year.

According to the group’s recently published financial statement for Q1 2023, its profits surged by 13.4 percent from N58.2 billion ($126.4 million) in the same period last year to N66.01 billion ($143.3 million).

The surge in its profit in the first quarter of 2023 can be attributed to a significant increase in net interest income, which rose from N100.54 billion ($218.3 million) to N120.79 billion ($262.3 million).

The growth was primarily driven by a substantial increase in loans and advances, rising from N3.55 trillion ($7.69 billion) to N4.03 trillion ($8.73 billion).

Furthermore, customer deposits increased significantly from N7.25 trillion ($15.72 billion) to N9.14 trillion ($19.8 billion), and the group’s cash and balances with central banks also surged from N1.92 trillion ($4.16 billion) to N2.52 trillion ($5.46 billion).

Zenith Bank is a distinguished financial services provider in Nigeria and anglophone West Africa, operating as a licensed commercial bank under the Central Bank of Nigeria.

It has earned a reputation as Nigeria’s most profitable bank and boasts the distinction of being the largest listed financial services group on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The bank owes its success in large part to the visionary leadership of its founder, Ovia, who has played an instrumental role in the evolution and digital transformation of Nigerian banking.

Ovia is also a major shareholder in the company, holding a substantial 16.2-percent stake, which translates to 5,072,104,311 ordinary shares.

In its latest earnings report, the group’s impressive financial performance was reflected in the growth of its total assets from N10.3 trillion ($22.31 billion) to N13.4 trillion ($29.03 billion), and its retained earnings expanding from N657.66 billion ($1.42 billion) to N682.78 billion ($1.48 billion).

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