Q3 2018: UBA Impresses with N375b Earnings, N62b PAT

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc on Tuesday released its unaudited 2018 third quarter financial results to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

The results were applauded by analysts, investors and shareholders because the pan African financial institution with presence in 20 African countries recorded an impressive growth in gross earnings, which stood at N374.8 billion, about 12.3 percent increase when compared with the N333.9 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017.

The lender revealed that its net operating improved by 1.7 percent year-on-year to N227.7 billion in contrast to N224 billion achieved in the similar period of 2017.

Amidst inflationary pressures and uncertainties undermining the business environment in Nigeria and a few other countries in Africa, UBA’s operating expenses only increased by 2.3 percent to N149.1 billion versus N145 billion recorded in the same period of last year.

The low cost profile can be better appreciated when put in the perspective of double digit inflation rate in Nigeria.

Overall, the bank posted a Profit Before Tax (PBT) of N79.1 billion whilst Profit After Tax (PAT) stood at N61.7 billion. This profit performance puts the bank’s annualized return on average equity at 16 percent and 20 percent at pre-tax and post-tax profit level respectively.

The bank continues to maintain a very strong balance sheet, with total assets of N4.51 trillion, an impressive 10.8 percent year-to-date rise over the N4.07 trillion total assets recorded as at December 2017.

Another strong indication of the growth of the bank and more so, acceptance of the franchise across Africa is the remarkable 16.2 percent year-to-date growth in customer deposits, which grew to N3.18 trillion against N2.73 trillion as at December 2017.

The shareholders’ fund remained very strong at N509.3 billion, even as the implementation of International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 9 moderated the group’s equity by 3.8 percent year-to-date.

Commenting on the result, Group Managing Director/CEO of UBA Plc, Mr Kennedy Uzoka, stated that, “We achieved a number of strategic imperatives during the quarter and committed more investments in the future of the business – building a solid foundation for sustainable and superior return to our shareholders.”

Mr Uzoka said that he was pleased that the bank’s virtual banking Chatbot, Leo, which debuted on Facebook earlier in the year, was successfully launched on WhatsApp during the quarter.

“This new channel offering, which enables our customers to fulfil their banking transactions through simple chat commands, is another premier initiative in our suite.

“The early pay-offs are quite compelling – recent customer acquisitions and broader transaction volume growth are exciting leading indicators that reinforce our confidence in these novel channels,” he said.

“Our franchise is increasingly renowned for financial solution and I am happy with the consistent growth in our businesses across the continent. We have grown balance sheet by 11 percent year-to-date to over N4.5 trillion.

“Notwithstanding the statutory-induced cost growth, our earnings proved resilient, as we recorded nine-month profit before tax of N79 billion. Notwithstanding the macro-risk arising from upcoming elections in Nigeria, our single largest market, we are confident of finishing the year strong,” Mr Uzoka concluded.

Also speaking on UBA’s financial performance and position, the Group CFO, Mr Ugo Nwaghodoh, said despite the relative volatility in the third quarter of 2018, especially in the face of the United States’ interest rate hikes and concerns over global trade war, which has disrupted the interest and exchange rate environment in many African countries, the bank remains on track to deliver its earnings target for the year.

“We remain committed to our five-year plan of working down CIR to 50 percent, which we consider to be a normalised medium-term CIR.

“Overall, we closed the third quarter with a post-tax RoAE of 16 percent and the Group remains well capitalized and liquid, as reflected in the Group’s capital adequacy of 21 percent and bank’s liquidity ratio of 53 percent,” he said.

UBA is one of Africa’s leading banks with operations in 20 African countries. It also has presence in the global financial centres; London, New York and Paris. UBA provides banking services to more than 15 million customers globally, through diverse channels.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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