Despite the challenging business environment in Nigeria, the United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) has announced an increase in Profit Before Tax (PBT) to N111.3 billion in its audited results for the full-year ended December 2019, compared to N106.8 billion declared in the corresponding period of 2018 financial year.
The Pan-African financial institution’s 2019 financials filed at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), also, recorded an increase of 13.3 per cent in its Profit After Tax (PAT) to N89.1 billion, against N78.6 billion declared in 2018.
On the cost side, Operating Expenses grew by 10.1 per cent to N217.2 billion, as against N197.3 billion in 2018, well below average inflation rate within the period, a reflection of cost efficiency gains.
But the lender’s gross earnings grew by 13.3 per cent to N559.8 billion, compared to N494.0 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2018.
The Bank’s total assets also grew significantly by 15.1 per cent to an unprecedented N5.6 trillion for the year under review. This is the first time the Bank’s gross earnings and assets will respectively cross the N500 billion and N5 trillion marks.
These results depict the Bank’s deepening of its pan-african business strategy, given the growth in the contribution of its 19 African subsidiaries to the Group’s net earnings and total assets. Ex-Nigeria Operations’ contributed 46 per cent to the Group’s Profit Before Tax (PBT) in the year under review.
In addition, UBA has been deploying innovative lifestyle products to expand its market share across Sub-Saharan Africa, leveraging its presence in the United Kingdom, United States of America and France, to build a true Africa’s Global Bank, facilitating trade and capital flows between Africa and the rest of the world.
In its 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, 2019. 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 N1.00, as the Bank had paid an interim dividend of 20 kobo earlier in the year.
UBA recorded a remarkable 20.2 per cent growth (to N2.1 trillion) in loans to customers, whilst the customer deposits increased by 14.4 per cent to N3.8 trillion, compared to N3.3 trillion recorded in the corresponding period of 2018. This reflects increased customer confidence, enhanced customer experience, early wins from the ongoing business transformation programme and the deepening of its retail banking franchise.
Commenting on the result, the Group Managing Director/CEO, Kennedy Uzoka noted that the year 2019 was important for UBA Group, as it gained further market share in most of its countries of operation.
“The year 2019 was a very remarkable one for UBA given the adverse market developments. Nonetheless, we achieved sizable growth in the balance sheet and earnings, even as we reposition the Bank for the future. Gross earnings crossed the N500 billion thresholds to N559billion, whilst total assets also crossed the N5 trillion marks for the first time to N5.6 trillion.
“Our strategy remains centred around unparalleled service to our esteemed customers. Accordingly, we are making significant investments in a technology-driven transformation journey. We have recorded early gains as shown in the 39per cent growth in electronic banking income to N38.8bn in 2019 from N27.9bn in 2018. Our businesses are gaining commendable share in their markets across regions in Africa, as we deepen the scale and scope of our operations”, Uzoka said.