United Bank for Africa Posts N494bn Gross Earnings, To Pay N22.23bn Final Dividend

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 18-Mar-2019

United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has reported a gross earnings of N494 billion in its audited 2018 financial results. According to the results for the ended December 31, 2018, filed to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), at the weekend.

The bank’s gross earnings grew by seven percent to N494 billion, compared to N461.6 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017. It proposed a final dividend of N22.23 billion, representing 65 kobo per share. It also paid an interim dividend of N6.84 billion or 20 kobo per share, making a total dividend paid for 2018 to be N29.07 billion or 85 kobo, per share.

Total assets also grew significantly by 19.7 percent to an unprecedented N4.9 trillion for the year under review. These results, according to financial analysts largely demonstrates the benefits of the Group’s Pan-African footprints with continued growth in market share in key countries of operation across Africa.

The contributions of ex-Nigeria subsidiaries at 40 percent, again confirms the strong footing of the Group’s franchise in Africa. Despite the challenging business environments in Nigeria and across key markets in Africa, the bank’s profit before tax was quite impressive at N106.8 billion, a 2.4 percent growth, compared to N104.2 billion in 2017 financial year.

In same vein, the profit after tax rose by 1.4 percent to N78.6 billion, compared to N77.5 billion recorded in 2017. Due to lower foreign exchange trading income, operating expenses grew by 4.1 percent to N197.3 billion, compared to N189.7 billion in 2017

Reflecting the modest appetite of the Bank in the year under review as well as impact of IFRS 9 implementation, net loans recorded a prudent 3.9 percent growth to N1.72 trillion while customer deposits increased by a remarkable 22.5 percent to N3.3 trillion, compared to N2.7 trillion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017, reflecting increased customer confidence and enhanced service channels.

Furthermore, shareholders’ funds decreased marginally by 4.8 percent to N502.6 billion. Speaking on the result, the Group managing director/CEO of UBA, Kennedy Uzoka noted that the year 2018 was important for the Group, as it gained further market share in many countries of operation.

Uzoka said, “Defying the relatively weak economic growth in Africa, earnings were positive and we grew our balance sheet by 20 percent, driven by the 23 percent growth in our deposit funding.

“In a period of economic uncertainty, we have focused on retail deposit mobilisation, with exciting results. We recorded a 48 percent year-on-year growth in retail deposits and improved our Current Account Savings Account (CASA) ratio to 77 percent, optimising our funding mix, which will enhance our net interest margin (NIM), over the medium term,”

Uzoka remained confident that the Bank’s performance would be even stronger in the years ahead and shareholders would enjoy even greater dividends, as the Group is well positioned to take advantage of imminent fiscal reforms across many economies in Africa, a positive outlook which should stimulate new opportunities in infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture and resource sectors.

Also speaking on the performance, the group CFO of the bank, Ugo Nwaghodoh said that the improving mix of the Bank’s funding base and asset pricing, reinforce a positive outlook on Net Interest Margin (NIM) and broader balance sheet efficiency.

“Whilst considerable investment in people, digital transformation and channel enhancement masked cost efficiency gains within the year, with cost-to-income ratio at 64 percent, we are convinced that our diligent execution of new initiatives will ensure the reduction of Cost to Income Ratio (CIR) towards our medium-term target.

“Our balance sheet is being positioned to take full advantage of market swings and our strong 25 percent capital adequacy ratio provides headroom for growth, even under a BASEL III scenario. As it stands, UBA has started the year on a good note and should sustain the momentum, as we work towards improving our Return on Average Equity (RoAE),” Nwaghodoh said.

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