United Bank for Africa Group (UBA) Plc started the 2018 business year on a strong footing as the commercial banking group witnessed considerable growths in the top-line and bottom-line.
Key extracts of the interim report and accounts of UBA for the first quarter ended March 31, 2018 showed that gross earnings rose by 18 per cent to N119.4 billion in first quarter 2018 compared with N101.25 billion recorded in corresponding period of 2017. Profit before tax rose to N26.6 billion in first quarter 2018 as against N25.5 billion posted in first quarter 2017. Profit after tax stood at N23.7 billion in first quarter 2018 compared with N22.4 billion recorded in corresponding period of 2017. The group sustained its strong profitability with an annualized 18 per cent Return on Average Equity (RoAE).
Group Managing Director, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, said the first quarter was impressive given the intensifying competition and moderation in yield environment in Nigeria and Ghana.
According to him, the first quarter result is a good start to the year and a reflection of the bank’s capacity to sustainably grow earnings over the medium to long term.
“We recorded 18 per cent growth in gross earnings, as both interest and non-interest income grew 18 per cent and 19 per cent respectively. Notwithstanding the moderation in sovereign yield in Nigeria and Ghana, we achieved a 60 basis points improvement in net interest margin to 7.6 per cent, as we extract efficiency gains from balance sheet management,” Uzoka said.
He noted that the eight per cent growth in retail deposit during the three month period was a reflection of the benefit of improved customer service and continued customer acquisition.
“We are committed to exceeding our 2018 deposit growth target in the year, with strategic focus on retail, low cost savings and current accounts, which is critical to sustaining our net interest margin uptrend,” Uzoka said.
He expressed optimism on the steady recovery of the Nigerian economy and improving fundamentals of most African countries, where the bank operates.
He pointed out the increasing relevance of the group’s African operations to its bottom line, adding that the bank is increasingly becoming systemically important across the 19 other African countries, where it operates.
“Barring unforeseen circumstances, we look forward to sustaining this strong performance through the year, with the primary objective of delivering superior return to our shareholders,” Uzoka said.
Group Chief Financial Officer, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Ugo Nwaghodoh, said the management is committed to delivering on the group’s financial goals for the year.
“We are diligently executing our priorities for the year, as we focus on profitable growth. We are making strong progress in Nigeria, where our continuous market share gain is translating into higher profit. I am pleased that our drive towards optimal scale across our subsidiary operations is progressing well. More importantly, the contribution of these foreign operations to the group’s profit is impressively reflective of geographic diversification,” Nwaghodoh said.
Source: The Nation