The United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has reported double-digit growth across most of its major income lines in the first quarter of 2021.
The unaudited results showed a growth of 5.5 per cent in gross earnings to close at N155.4 billion as at the end of March, 2021, up from N147.2 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2020.
The bank leveraged on modest growth in both interest and non-interest income as well as increased efficiency to deliver a 24 per cent in profit before tax (PBT), which printed at N40.6 billion, compared with N32.7 billion in 2020. Profit After Tax also grew faster by 26.8 per cent from N30.1 billion to N38.2 billion.
The bank recorded an annualised 20.5 per cent return on average equity (RoAE) compared to 19.9 per cent in the same period of 2020.
UBA’s total assets rose by 2.5 per cent to N7.9 trillion compared to N7.7 trillion recorded at the end of the 2020 financial year whilst shareholders’ funds grew to N762.4 billion up by 5.3 per cent from N724.1 billion as at the end of 2020.
Commenting, the Group Managing Director/CEO of the UBA Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, said the results reflected bank’s capacity to sustainably grow earnings even in a highly uncertain macroeconomic environment.
According to him, the robust capital and liquidity positions have boosted the bank’s capacity as it continues to support its customers across diverse sectors and markets, guided by prudent risk management practices.
He said: “This impressive 2021 Q1 results reflect the capacity of our business to sustainably grow earnings even in a highly uncertain macroeconomic environment.
We remain upbeat on the macroeconomic outlook of the countries in which we operate, especially as the COVID-19 vaccine distribution gains traction globally, whilst commodity prices and currencies continue to stabilise.
Our robust capital and liquidity positions have positioned us to continue to support our customers across diverse sectors and markets, guided by prudent risk management practices.”
Uzoka explained bank’s effort towards diligently executing its priorities for the year 2021, as it leverages people, process, and technology to deliver the best customer experience across all its channels and touchpoints, achieving industry leadership and dominance.
“The bank is making strong progress in Nigeria where our continuous market share and efficiency gains are translating into higher profits.
We are committed to sustaining this strong start throughout the year, leveraging our customer-First (C-1st) philosophy and unparalleled execution to deliver even stronger returns to our esteemed shareholders in 2021 and beyond;” Uzoka said.
Also speaking, the Group Chief Finance Officer, Ugo Nwaghodoh, said he was particularly pleased with the annualised ROAE of 20.5 per cent and return on average asset of 2.0 per cent, saying these indices buttressed their commitment to delivering sustainable value to their stakeholders.
“We continued to deploy our balance sheet efficiency and digital-led cost optimisation initiatives to achieve desired outcomes. Cost-to-income ratio improved by 200bps to 60.4 per cent during the period, whilst cost of funds settled at 2.0 per cent, a 130bps reduction from 3.3 per cent in 2020Q1,” he said.
He expressed confidence that the bank will meet and surpass its target for the remaining three quarters of the year, adding that, “We are confident on the strong prospect for earnings growth, particularly as we are better positioned to consolidate recent market share gains in Nigeria and other geographies where we operate.
This result is a strong start for the year, and we are optimistic about sustaining the exciting performance throughout the year and beyond.”