Zenith Bank Sierra Leone Shows Resilience as Profit After Tax Grows by 75% in Financial Year 2021
Zenith Bank (Sierra Leone) Limited has announced its audited results for the year ended December 31, 2021, recording positive growth across key financial metrics despite a challenging macroeconomic environment caused mainly by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bank’s 2021 audited financial results presented to stakeholders during its 14th Annual General Meeting on Thursday May 12th 2022 held at the bank’s Conference Room, Rawdon Street, in Freetown, saw a growth in profit after tax of 75% from Le28.1 billion in FYE 2020 to Le49.2 billion in FYE 2021.
The bank which has witnessed unprecedented growth since its establishment in 2008 recorded significant growth of Le 17.4 billion (23%) in interest income, although its interest expense increased by Le 2.0billion (23%) it still achieved a growth in net interest income of Le 15.3 billion (24%).
Fees and commission income grew by Le 5.1 billion (29%) and net trading gain also increased by Le 4.1billion (46%).
The Bank also increased total customer deposits by 26% to close the period at Le671.7 billion, demonstrating growth in their market share.
The bank’s total assets grew by Le182.9 billion as at December 31, 2021 from Le703.3 billion recorded as at December 31, 2020.
Despite the challenging operating environment, the Bank grew its risk assets as loans & advances were up by 6%, from Le59.3 billion to Le 62.9 billion in 2021.
Prudential ratios such as liquidity and capital adequacy also remained above regulatory thresholds at 274.84% and 104.3%, respectively, thus showing that the Bank is highly liquid and maintains healthy prudential operations.
The Managing Director, Zenith Bank, Mr. Chijioke.W. Ejilemele said “The business opportunities in Sierra Leone are huge and the overall performance for 2021 puts the bank in a vantage position to harness more of these opportunities which are the basis for the expected growth in 2022.
Mr. Ejilemele said the figures presented by the Auditors were very encouraging depicting the that the bank is in the right path.
The Managing Director explained to shareholders including board of directors the successes and challenges the bank recorded during the year ended 31st December 2021.
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Mr. Ejilemele said interest income grew while interest expenses increased but by a much lower figure, resulting in the interest income growth while net fees and commission income also grew significantly.
“This significant growth in profitability was as a result of growth in deposits, investments, loans and advances in the year which increased net yields despite the tough operating environment, he said.”
He said the bank is highly liquid and maintains healthy prudential operations, while noting that the bank is very robust and can take on larger ticket transactions.
“The overall performance for 2021 puts the bank in a vantage position to take up the numerous business opportunities available in the country for the much expected growth and position amongst the other commercial banks in the country, he said.”
Chairman, Zenith Bank Sierra Leone Board of Directors, Mrs. Boi-Jenneh Jalloh said in spite of the challenges in the country’s financial sector, the bank has stood tall with an ambitious outlook and a future that can only be brighter.
The Chairman expressed hope that with the end of the COVID-19 pandemic and despite the global economic challenges caused by events like the Russian-Ukraine War, businesses and lives will improve in 2022. She said these improvements will bring more profits to forward looking banks like Zenith Bank Sierra Leone.
Mrs. Boi-Jenneh Jalloh appreciated all Zenith Bank’s customers for their “unwavering allegiance” and the staff of the bank for their “sense of duty, commitment and devotion to service”.
Zenith Bank Sierra Leone Ltd started operations in Sierra Leone after the government decided to liberalize the financial sector, granting several licenses to investors. It has become a major player in the sector, strictly adhering to its economic, financial and corporate social responsibilities.
Zenith Bank (Sierra Leone) Limited has continued to provide exceptional services from seven locations in most of the key business locations of the country with complementary cash offices and centres. These services have endeared numerous customers to the bank. The bank will strengthen this by making more investments in the required human resources, best materials and technology.
The AGM ended on a note of optimism for the bank, all stake holders, the economy and nation.