By Peter Egwuatu
United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has posted gross earnings of N454.4 billion for the nine months ending September 30th 2020, representing six percent growth from N428.7 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2019.
The bank disclosed this in its unaudited result for the third quarter of the year (Q3’2020) filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday. The results showed that UBA reported a Profit Before Tax of N90.4 billion during the period, down from N98.2 billion recorded at the end of the third quarter of 2019.
Similarly, the Bank recorded an after-tax profit of N77.1 billion, thus putting its annualised return on average equity at 16.4 per cent. Operating income also improved by 10.4 per cent Year-on-Year to close at N293.7 billion, up from N265.9 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2019.
The Bank continues to maintain a very strong balance sheet, with total assets of N7.1 trillion, a 26 per cent increase over the N5.6 trillion recorded at the end of December 2019. UBA benefited largely from its technology-led initiatives targeted at improving customer experience over the past few years, as Customer Deposits leaped to N5.2trillion from N3.8 trillion at the end of the last financial year. The shareholders’ funds remained very strong at N655.3 billion rising by 9.6 per cent from N598.0 billion recorded in December 2019, thus reflecting a strong capacity for internal capital generation and growth.
Commenting on the results, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, UBA Plc, Kennedy Uzoka, said, “In spite of the current turbulence in the operating environment, occasioned by the global pandemic, we have continued to record significant progress in our business segments. Notably, our innovative financial inclusion propositions have helped us moderate cost-of-funds to 3.2 per cent (4.0 per cent in FY 2019), as low-cost deposits (which accounts for 76.2 per cent of our customer deposits) grew 40.8 per cent by the end of the third quarter. Our Direct Sales Agents, Agency Banking Network, and Digital Banking propositions have positioned us at the forefront of financial inclusion across geographies where we operate,” Uzoka stated.
He pointed out that during the period under review, the Bank was able to provide support to customers across its footprint, assisting them to navigate the negative impact that Covid-19 pandemic has had on livelihoods, businesses and social life, adding that “since March 2020, we have provided transaction fee waivers to customers, rescheduled loans where business cashflows have been impacted, and donated generously to governments and communities to help catalyse a comprehensive pan-African response to the fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
Speaking on the expectations for the rest of the year, Uzoka said, “whilst the outlook for the rest of 2020 is expected to remain challenging, our diversified model provides sufficient resilience, enabling us to continue to delight our customers with innovative banking products within our robust risk management framework.”