United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has released its audited report and accounts for the year ending December 31, 2017 which shows profit before tax growing by 16 per cent to N105.3 billion in 2017 compared to N90.6 billion in the 2016 financial year.
The report which was published at the weekend at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed that the bank’s gross earnings grew to N462 billion, up by 20 per cent from N314 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2016.
The profit after tax also leaped to N78.6 billion, an 8.8 per cent year-on-year growth compared to N72.3 billion in 2016.
Meanwhile, the bank’s subsidiaries outside Nigeria contributed a third of its top-line and 45 per cent of the profit for the year, a remarkable improvement from 31 per cent contribution made by the offshore offices in 2016.
Market analysts say the development affirms the success of the bank’s expansion strategy, with target of 50 per cent contributions by 2020.
Furthermore UBA’s operating income grew to N326.6 billion, a 20.6 per cent increase compared to N270.9 billion recorded in 2016.
This, analysts say, affirms the capacity of the group to deliver strong performance through varying economic cycles and challenging business environment.
The audited results also showed that the bank’s total assets peaked at N4.07 trillion, translating into 16.1 per cent year-on-year growth from the figure of N3.50 trillion recorded as at 2016 financial year. In the 2017 financial year, UBA’s net loans achieved a prudent 9.7 per cent growth at N1.65 trillion, while the customer deposits grew to N2.73 trillion, representing 10 per cent year-on-year growth on N2.49 trillion recorded in 2016 financial year. Reflecting a strong internal capital generation, the bank’s shareholders’ fund also soared 18.2 per cent to N529.4 billion in the 2017 financial year.
Subject to the approvals of the shareholders, the board of UBA Plc proposed a final dividend of 65 kobo per every share of 50 kobo each. This final dividend proposal is in addition to the 20 kobo per share interim dividend paid after the audit of the 2017 half year financial statements, thus putting the total dividend for 2017 financial year at 85 kobo per share.
Commenting on the result, the bank’s group managing director and chief executive officer, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, said “the results underline the success of our strategy of expanding across Africa, diversifying revenues and capturing the broader business opportunities inherent in Africa’s growth.
The results reinforce the sustainability of our business model and the capacity to deliver superior long-term return to shareholders as the economic and business environment improves.
Also speaking on UBA’s financial performance and position, the group chief finance officer (GCFO), Ugo Nwaghodoh declared: “In a period of high interest rates, we achieved a relatively low 3.7 per cent cost of funds. This operational efficiency reflects the benefit of our rich pool of stable savings and current account deposits. The net interest margin stabilized at 7 per cent, even as yields on treasury assets dropped in the last quarter of 2017. Our core transaction banking offerings gained strong momentum, with income from these business lines growing by double digits.
“We remain committed to our responsible approach to balance sheet management, with focus on growing risk asset and broader balance sheet in a profitable and prudent manner. Amidst a subdued Nigerian credit market, we grew our loan portfolio by 10 per cent, leveraging our robust liquidity and capitalization to support good businesses through this challenging economic cycle. We closed the year with a Basel II capital adequacy ratio of 19 per cent and a liquidity ratio of 50 per cent, well ahead of 15 per cent and 30 per cent regulatory requirement respectively. Our disciplined approach to lending and broader risk management continues to uphold our asset quality.”