Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has announced its unaudited third quarter financial results ended September 30, 2017, showing remarkable performance across key financial indicators.
UBA’s gross earnings grew by 26 percent to N333.9 billion, as against N265.5 billion reported in September 2016. This inspiring result was driven by the strong performance of its recurring core revenue lines, thus reflecting the increasing success of the bank’s enhanced customer engagement.
The Group’s operating income stood at N236.9 billion, compared to N183.3 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2016, representing a 29.3 percent growth. The group also delivered an impressive profit before tax (PBT) of N78.3 billion, marking a significant growth of 33.2% as against N58.8 billion recorded in the similar period of 2016. This impressive performance defies the slow economic recovery in Nigeria as well as some African markets, where the bank operates.
In the same vein, Profit after Tax (PAT) grew to N60.9 billion representing an impressive 23% growth over the N49.5 billion recorded in the third quarter of 2016. This profitability further reflects the strong earnings capacity of the Group and its capability to progressively deliver superior returns to shareholders.
While the Group closed the third quarter with Total Assets of N3.77 trillion, a YTD growth of 7.6 percent, it prudently grew net loans to N1.6 trillion, a 6.0 percent YTD growth in the loan book.
Reflecting a strong capacity for internal capital generation, the Group’s Shareholders’ Fund grew by 13.3 percent to N507.6 billion, whilst it delivered an annualized 18 per cent return on average equity (RoAE).
Commenting on the result, Kennedy Uzoka, the Group Managing Director/CEO, said, “These extremely positive third quarter results are an attestation of our ability to sustainably grow earnings and market share, notwithstanding the challenging operating environment. They are a tribute to our enhanced customer engagement and focus on continuous improvement in service quality.”
He further noted that the bank’s nine-month top-line grew by 26.3%, to an unprecedented N334 billion, driven particularly by the strong performance of its recurring core revenue lines.
Uzoka stated, “Our investment in digital channels is being rewarded, as our market share of digital banking continues to grow and we have also seen strong momentum in the trade and remittance businesses, where we have doubled the monthly run-rate in fee income, a testament to an increasingly optimistic business and currency environment.”
According to him, the slow, but steady, recovery in economic activities in Nigeria is presenting new opportunities for growth, particularly as improving foreign currency liquidity and the multiplier effect of rising public sector spending are stimulating economic activities.
“We continue to benefit from the strategic diversification of our business, with non-Nigerian business now contributing more than a third of revenues this quarter. These positive developments reinforce our constructive outlook on earnings and balance sheet growth for the last quarter of the year. To this end, we will progressively deliver superior return to our shareholders, as we extract new growth opportunities in our unique Pan-African franchise,” Uzoka affirmed.
Also speaking on UBA’s financial performance and position, the Group CFO, Ugo Nwaghodoh reiterated that the Group recorded strong growth across its diversified business segments and geographies.
He said, “Our Africa operations (ex-Nigeria) again grew strongly in the period, contributing a third of top-line and approximately 40% of earnings.” Continuing, he said, “As we consistently gain market share in digital banking, remittance and trade flows, we are sustainably growing the non-funded income line, which currently represents 28% of our earnings.”
He explained that whilst high domestic inflation, notably in Nigeria and Ghana, raised external cost pressures, alongside the lag impact of Naira devaluation, the bank remains focused on cost efficiency initiatives; adding, “I remain positive about our earnings outlook, as we complement our revenue drive with cost and operational efficiency gains.”
UBA was incorporated in Nigeria as a limited liability company after taking over the assets of the British and French Bank Limited who had been operating in Nigeria since 1949. The United Bank for Africa merged with Standard Trust Bank in 2005 and from a single country operation founded in 1949 in Nigeria – Africa’s largest economy – UBA has become one of the leading providers of banking and other financial services on the African continent. The Bank provides services to over 14 million customers globally, through one of the most diverse service channels in sub-Saharan Africa, with over 1,000 branches and customer touch points and robust online and mobile banking platforms.
UBA was the first Nigerian bank to make an Initial Public Offering, following its listing on the NSE in1970. It was also the first Nigerian bank to issue Global Depository Receipts. The shares of UBA are publicly traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Bank has a well-diversified shareholder base, which includes foreign and local institutional investors, as well as individual shareholders.