Nigeria’s first generation commercial banking group, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has just released its audited half-year financial results for the first half of this year, showing remarkable performance across major performance indicators.
The board of directors of the bank has declared interim dividend of 20 kobo per share, totaling N7.26 billion on the back of the half-year results.
The earnings report for the period ended June 30, 2017 released at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) indicated that UBA grew its gross earnings to N222.7 billion, as against N165.6 billion reported in June 2016. The gross earnings performance was driven by the 44.3 per cent and 16.0 per cent growth in interest income and non-funded income respectively.
Operating income stood at N161.8 billion in 2017 compared with N116.2 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2016, representing a 39.2 percent growth. Notwithstanding the impact of Naira devaluation and double digit inflation in Nigeria and a number of other African countries where UBA operates, the group managed through its cost lines to deliver a sterling profit before tax of N57.5 billion, representing a significant growth of 65.5 percent over N34.8 billion recorded in the corresponding period of June 2016.
Profit after tax stood at N42.3 billion, translating to a 56.2 percent growth over the N27.1 billion recorded in the half-year of 2016. This profitability further reflects the earnings capacity of the Group and its capability to progressively deliver superior returns to shareholders.
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While the group closed the half year with Total Assets of N3.69 trillion, a growth of 5.3 percent, it prudently grew gross loans to N1.6 trillion, a 4 percent growth when compared to the Group loan book as at December 31, 2016. Reflecting a strong capacity for internal capital generation, the group’s shareholders’ fund grew by 8.0 per cent to N483.1 billion, while it delivered an annualized 18.2 per cent return on average equity (RoAE).
Commenting on the result, Group Managing Director, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, said the results again demonstrated the strong momentum of the bank as it delivered improvement across businesses and key performance metrics.
He noted that UBA’s unwavering focus on customer service excellence is translating to strong operational and financial efficiency gains while it has continued to achieve better pricing on assets and liabilities, leading to continued improvement in the net interest margin to 7.3 per cent.
According to him, leveraging its service-focused strategy and treasury management, the bank grew non-interest income by 17 per cent year-on-year, reinforcing its transaction-banking-led approach towards deepening financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa.
He added that UBA has made considerable progress in its retail banking penetration, gaining market share in deposits, at a time when a sizeable percentage of households are challenged due to inflationary pressures on disposable income. The bank grew its retail savings and current account deposits by 23 per cent and five per cent year-to-date respectively.
Also speaking on UBA’s financial performance and position, Group Chief Financial Officer, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Ugo Nwaghodoh said that the bank had a strong start in the year, despite protracted recession in Nigeria, its largest market noting that profit after tax of N42 billion translated to 18.2 per cent return on average equity, broadly in line with its 2017 full-year guidance.
Nwaghodoh said the bank’s African subsidiaries, excluding Nigeria, contributed 32 per cent of the group’s earnings, leveraging on digital offerings to gain market share across the different markets.
“We maintain our discipline of banking only quality and profitable assets, a conservative stance which reflects on our asset quality. Notwithstanding consistent liquidity mop-up by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), we maintained an average balance sheet liquidity ratio of 42 per cent. Further reinforcing the bank’s capacity is the strong BASEL II capital adequacy ratio of 20 per cent, which underpins our ability to grow, as the macro risks decline”, he said.
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