October 29, 2019
By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
One of the leading financial institutions in Africa, United Bank for Africa (UBA), has announced an impressive performance in its unaudited 2019 Third Quarter Financial Results, with significant growth in Gross Earnings.
The gross earnings rose to US$1.18 billion, representing a 14.2 percent increase when compared to US$1.04 billion recorded in September 2018.
United Bank for Africa Plc, the pan-African financial institution with a network that spans across 20 African countries, also has presence in the United Kingdom, the United States and Paris, and provides banking services to more than 17 million customers globally, through its diverse channels.
The UBA’s profit before tax grew by 24.2% to US$271.2 million, up from US$218.46 million in the same period of 2018. Similarly, it’s after tax profit also grew significantly by 32.3% from US$170.4 million recorded in September last year 2018 to US$255.45 million in the period under consideration.
However, the profit performance puts the Bank’s annualised return on average equity at 20.6%.
According to the report filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), UBA’s net operating income improved by 11.6 percent year-on-year to US$734.62 million compared to US$658.31 million achieved in the similar period of 2018.
However, despite the double-digit inflation rate in Nigeria (its largest market) coupled with uncertainties in the business environment and in some countries in the rest of Africa, UBA’s curtailed operating expenses only increased by 8.4 percent and this was largely due to regulatory costs.
The Bank continues to maintain a very strong balance sheet, with Total Assets of US$13.70 billion, an increase over the US$13.45 billion recorded in December 2018. Customer Deposits also grew to US$9.31billion. The shareholders’ fund remained very strong at US$1.53 billion, rising by 10.5% and reflecting a strong capacity for internal capital generation.
Commenting on the results, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of UBA Plc, Kennedy Uzoka, said the resilience of their business model and their focused growth of earning assets have yielded a 10.8% growth in interest income.
He said in addition to their commendable yield on interest earning assets, they also achieved a 22.1% growth in non-interest income, driven largely by the increased penetration of their superior digital banking offerings, credit expansion, remittances and other lifestyle transactional services.
“UBA remains committed to its vision of becoming the undisputed leading and dominant financial services institution in Africa. We will continue to innovate and lead in all our business segments, whilst delivering top-notch operational efficiencies and best-in-class customer service,” he said.
He noted that they are beginning to realise early gains from their on-going transformation Program and he was indeed excited about the days ahead.
Also speaking on the bank’s financial performance and position, the Group Chief Finance Officer, Ugo Nwaghodoh said with the results achieved in the quarter under consideration, the bank remains on track to deliver its earnings target for the year.
He said they were able to grow the loan book by 14.7%, (well ahead of our guidance) focusing on growth poles of various economies in which we operate, noting that they have also developed new credit products targeted at specific consumer and SME market segments.
He further that they would continue to do so with strict adherence to best credit and underwriting standards, as they strive to achieve the statutory loan-to-funding ratio threshold set by the apex bank.