- Group grows half-year profit by 66%…offers 20 kobo interim dividend
UNITED Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has announced its audited half-year financial results ended June 30, 2017, growing its gross earnings for the period by 34.5 percent to N222.7 billion, as against N165.6 billion reported in June 2016.The group also delivered a sterling profit before tax (PBT) of N57.5 billion (65.5 per cent growth) over N34.8 billion recorded in the corresponding period of June 2016.
The bank’s performance, which reflects the strong momentum of its business and its increasing share of customers’ wallet, was driven by the 44.3 per cent and 16.0 per cent growth in interest income and non-funded income respectively.
The group’s operating income stood at N161.8 billion (39.2 per cent growth), compared to N116.2 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2016.
Notwithstanding the impact of naira devaluation and double-digit inflation in Nigeria and a number of other African countries where the bank operates, the group managed through its cost lines to deliver a sterling profit before tax (PBT) of N57.5 billion (65.5 per cent growth) over N34.8 billion recorded in the corresponding period of June 2016.
Similarly, the Group recorded an unprecedented Profit After Tax (PAT) of N42.3 billion, translating to a 56.2 per cent 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.
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 per cent 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 percent to N483.1 billion, whilst it delivered an annualized 18.2 per cent return on average equity (RoAE) and an Interim Dividend of N0.20 per Share.
Commenting on the result, UBA’s group managing director and chief executive officer, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, said the results demonstrated the bank’s strong momentum” as we deliver continuous improvement across our businesses and key performance metrics.”
“Unwavering focus on customer service excellence is translating to strong operational and financial efficiency gains. We have achieved better pricing on assets and liabilities, leading to continued improvement in the net interest margin to 7.3 per cent. Leveraging our service-focused strategy and treasury management, we grew non-interest income by 17 per cent year-on-year, reinforcing our transaction-banking-led approach towards deepening financial inclusion in sub-Saharan Africa,” he stressed.
He also said the “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.
Specifically, he said the bank grew its retail savings and current account deposits by 23 per cent and 5 per cent year-to-date respectively.
Also speaking on group chief finance officer, Mr. Ugo Nwaghodoh said he bank had a strong start in the year, despite protracted recession in Nigeria.
“Our profit after tax of N42 billion translates to 18.2 per cent return on average equity, broadly in line with our 2017 full year guidance,” he said.
He disclosed that the bank’s African subsidiaries (ex-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 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.