LAGOS –Â United Bank for Africa Plc has announced its audited 2018 Financial Results with impressive growths achieved across major financial lines.
According to the 2018 financials filed at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) at the weekend, the Africaâ€™s global bankâ€™s gross earnings grew by 7.0 per cent to N494.0 billion, compared to N461.6 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017.
The bankâ€™s total assets also grew significantly by 19.7 percent to an unprecedented N4.9 trillion for the year under review.
These results, according to financial analysts, largely demonstrate the benefits of the Groupâ€™s Pan-African footprints with continued growth in market share in key countries of operation across Africa. The contributions of ex-Nigeria subsidiaries at 40 per cent, again confirms the strong footing of the Groupâ€™s franchise in Africa.
Despite the challenging business environments in Nigeria and across key markets in Africa, the bankâ€™s profit before tax was quite impressive at N106.8 billion, representing 2.4 per cent growth, compared to N104.2 billion in 2017 financial year.
In same vein, the profit after tax rose by 1.4 per cent to N78.6 billion, compared to N77.5 billion recorded in 2017. Due to lower foreign exchange trading income, operating expenses grew by 4.1 per cent to N197.3 billion, compared to N189.7 billion in 2017 The bank also announced the final payment of N0.65 as dividend for every ordinary share of 50 kobo each bringing the total to N0.85 per share for the 2018 financial year.
Reflecting the modest appetite of the bank in the year under review as well as impact of IFRS 9 implementation, net loans recorded a prudent 3.9 per cent growth to N1.72 trillion while Customer Deposits increased by a remarkable 22.5 per cent to N3.3 trillion, compared to N2.7 trillion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017, reflecting increased customer confidence and enhanced service channels.
Furthermore, shareholdersâ€™ funds decreased marginally by 4.8 per cent to N502.6 billion, reflecting the impact of International Financial Reporting Standards 9â€™s (IFRS 9) implementation.
Commenting on the result, Kennedy Uzoka, the Group Managing Director/CEO, noted that the year 2018 was important for the Group, as it gained further market share in many countries of operation. More so, the CEO was excited at strategic achievements made in the year, including the start of wholesale banking operations in London, as it seeks to leverage the Groupâ€™s unique network across Africa. UBA also opened its 20th African operation.
â€œDefying the relatively weak economic growth in Africa, earnings were positive and we grew our balance sheet by 20 percent, driven by the 23 per cent growth in our deposit funding. In a period of economic uncertainty, we have focused on retail deposit mobilization, with exciting results. We recorded a 48 per cent year-on-year growth in retail deposits and improved our CASA ratio to 77 percent, optimizing our funding mix, which will enhance our net interest margin (NIM), over the medium term,â€� Uzoka said.
Uzoka remained confident that the bankâ€™s performance would be even stronger in the years ahead and shareholders would enjoy even greater dividends, as the Group is well positioned to take advantage of imminent fiscal reforms across many economies in Africa, a positive outlook which should stimulate new opportunities in infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture and resource sectors.
He continued: â€œOur operations in the United Kingdom now offer end-to-end trade, treasury, structured finance, wholesale deposit taking and ancillary services. With this development, we are better positioned to fulfill our aspiration of deepening trade and capital flows between Europe and Africa.â€�
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