Feb 25 – Nigeria’s Zenith Bank is aiming for a pretax profit of 270 billion naira ($709 million) this year, up 5.5% from a year earlier, the bank said on Thursday.
The top tier lender made a 255.9 billion naira pretax profit in 2020, narrowly beating its guidance.
Zenith said it was aiming for 10% loan growth this year, down from 18.6% in 2020 after a currency depreciation at the end of last year helped boost the value of loans priced in naira.
Nigeria exited recession in the fourth quarter despite a full-year contraction in 2020. The country devalued the currency last year in an attempt to align multiple quoted currency rates. But the naira has continued to weaken.
The lender identified small businesses, agriculture, healthcare and manufacturing as some of the growth sectors this year. ($1 = 380.5800 naira)