By Peter Egwuatu
United Bank for Africa Plc, yesterday announced its unaudited third quarter financial results recording a 7 per cent year-on-year growth in profit before tax to N62 billion despite the challenging macro-economic environment.
This represents an impressive 18.2 per cent annualized return on average equity. The Bank recorded an appreciable growth in both funding and fee income lines.
“I am pleased with our performance in the first nine months of the year. Notwithstanding the negative economic growth in Nigeria, we maintained growth in earnings and sustained our asset quality. Increasingly, we are leveraging our unique pan-African platform to drive new customer acquisition and grow market share across our African subsidiaries” said Kennedy Uzoka, Group Managing Director and CEO of UBA Plc.
Furthermore, the Bank’s level of impairment in its overall loan book was moderate. The Non-Performing Loan (NPL) ratio of 2.5 per cent and 0.9 per cent cost of risk remain one of the best in the industry.
UBA Plc’s third quarter results also show significant efficiency gains with appreciable growth in operating income by 11 per cent to N183 billion while profit after tax rose by 8 per cent to N52 billion within the period.
Though partly driven by the depreciation in the value of the naira, UBA also recorded a significant 21 per cent year-to-date growth in deposits and a similar 26 per cent growth in total assets. The bank also ensured that cost-to-income ratio remained flat year-on-year at 65 per cent despite external cost pressures which masked the positive results of its cost efficiency initiatives.
Also speaking on the results, Group CFO, Ugo Nwaghodoh, said “the growth in deposits and total assets reflects the Bank’s increased share of customers’ wallet and deepening banking penetration across all its chosen markets in Nigeria and Africa which again accounted for a third of the Group’s earnings.”
The Group GCFO assured that UBA will continue to balance its appetite for growth and profitability with the strategy of sustaining strong liquidity and capital ratios. The Bank maintained 43% liquidity ratio and 17.6 per cent BASEL II capital adequacy ratio, well ahead of regulatory requirement.
United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc is a leading financial services group in sub-Saharan Africa with presence in 19 African countries, as well as the United Kingdom, the United States of America and France.