UBA Posts N153bn Profit, Total Assets Cross N8trn Mark.

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 United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has announced its audited results for the full year ended December 31, 2021, reporting impres­sive performance in key financial metrics.

The 2021 financial result filed by the bank at the Ni­gerian Exchange (NGX) on March 4, 2022, showed that gross earnings rose signifi­cantly to N660.2 billion rep­resenting an increase of 7 percent compared to N616.8 billion recorded at the end of the 2020 financial year.

Total assets grew by 11 percent to an unprece­dented N8.5 trillion in the year under review, up from N7.7 trillion in 2020, thus marking the first time the bank’s assets will cross the N8 trillion mark.

Despite the huge chal­lenging business and slow economic recovery in most of its countries of opera­tions, UBA’s profit before tax was impressive with a 20.3 percent growth to N153.1 billion, compared to N127.3 billion at the end of the 2020 financial year; while profit after tax grew by 8.7 percent to N118.7 billion in 2021, compared to N109.2 billion recorded the previous year.

Similarly, net loans grew by 7.7 percent growth to N2.8 trillion, whilst cus­tomer deposits rose by 12.2 percent to N6.4 tril­lion, compared to N5.7 tril­lion in the corresponding period of 2020, reflecting increased customer confi­dence, enhanced customer experience, successes from the ongoing business trans­formation programme and the deepening of its retail banking franchise.

In the year under con­sideration, the bank’s op­erating income rose by 10% to N443 billion compared to N403 billion in the pri­or year, whereas operating expenses closed the period at N279 billion.

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In its usual tradition of rewarding shareholders, the bank proposed a final dividend of 80 kobo for ev­ery ordinary share of 50 kobo for the financial year ended December 31, 2021. The final dividend which is subject to the affirmation of the shareholders at its annual general meeting will bring the total divi­dend for the year to N1 as the bank had paid an in­terim dividend of 20 kobo earlier in the year.

Commenting on the re­sult, the Group Managing Director/CEO, Kennedy Uzoka, said that notwith­standing the tight and challenging operating en­vironment, UBA continues to deliver significant per­formance.

He said, “The year 2021 can best be described as a year of global recovery; economies around the world began to witness ear­ly-stage recoveries, as sup­ply chains recover from the devastating disruptions suffered in 2020.

“Consequently, UBA recorded remarkable 7% growth in top line to N660 billion (USD1.56 billion), and profit before tax (PBT) of N153.1 billion, up 20.3% from the prior year. Net loans and advances grew by 7.7% to N2.8 trillion with exposure mostly to resilient economic sectors including oil & gas, agricul­ture and manufacturing. Deposit from customers grew 12.2%, crossing the N6 trillion mark, to N6.4 trillion.”

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The GMD explained that the quality of UBA’s portfolio as well as the strength of the bank’s credit risk management frameworks and policies remain the bedrock of the positive results that the bank has been recording over the years, adding that the current performance highlights UBA’s relentless customer focus, and lever­age on its key strategic le­vers – People, Process and Technology.

“Looking forward, I am particularly excited about our ongoing Enter­prise Transformation Pro­gramme which is designed to enhance the bank’s pro­cess agility, service delivery and customer experience. We are also making sizeable investments in cutting-edge technology and cyber secu­rity, to keep our innovative digital banking offerings above the curve, as we tool and re-tool our human re­sources to compete and win in a rapidly changing and evolving landscape. This will ensure the bank con­tinues to achieve respect­able top and bottom-line growth through the medi­um to long term”, the GMD stated.

UBA’s Group Chief Fi­nancial Officer, Ugo Nwag­hodoh, who corroborated the GMD’s comments, said, once again, the bank has shown resilience. It achieved sizeable growth and strengthened its bal­ance sheet despite the slow pace of economic recovery that characterised the year 2021.

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“Through active and diligent assets and lia­bilities management, the bank was able to protect its net interest margin and achieved a downward moderation of cost of funds (CoF) by 70 basis points to 2.2% from 2.9% in the prior year.”

According to him, the group’s capital adequacy ratio at 24.9% was well above the required regula­tory minimum and reflects a strong capacity for busi­ness growth. “The Group’s non-performing loan ra­tio improved further to 3.6% from 4.7% at the end of 2020. This testifies to the quality of UBA’s loan portfolio even as the bank remains relentless in its resolve to drive down the cost-to-income ratio, which stood at 63.0% at the end of the year.”

Nwaghodoh added that the bank achieved further strides in growing its busi­ness and gaining market share across its pan-Afri­can operations, with the re­gion accounting for 63.2% of the Group’s profitability, compared to 55.4% in 2020; loans and advances as well as deposit in the region were also up 14.5% and 27.3%, respectively, from a year earlier.

In his concluding re­marks, the CFO stated, “We recognise the changing com­petitive landscape and are proactively positioning to consistently deliver on our strategic objectives and com­mitment to shareholders.”

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