Business & Economy - News - April 20, 2021

UBA stays on growth path; reports 27% profit in first quarter 2021

Promises to consolidate on its market share gains in Nigeria and other locations

The United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc appears firmly on the path of sustainable growth, with its latest  unaudited results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021 showing an impressive double-digit growth across most of its major income  centres.
The statement showed the bank recorded a 24 percent  year-on-year growth in Profit Before Tax in the first three months of the 2021 financial year, to N40.6 billion, compared with N32.7 billion recorded in the first quarter of 2020.
The report also showed Profit After Tax also grew by 26.8 percent from N30.1 billion in March 2020 to N38.2 billion in the period under review.
The bank attribute the positive performance to its ability to leverage on modest growth in both interest and non-interest income as well as increased efficiency in service delivery.
Interestingly, UBA again sustained its strong profitability recording an annualised 20.5% Return on Average Equity (RoAE) compared to 19.9% in the same period of 2020.
Driven by a year-on-year growth in interest income, a statement showed UBA Group recorded another impressive 5.5 percent year-on-year growth in gross earnings to close at N155.4 billion for the three month period ending March 2021, compared to N147.2 billion recorded in the first three months of last year 2020.
The bank’s total assets also rose by 2.5 percent to N7.9trillion in the period under review, compared to N7.7trillion recorded at the end of the 2020 financial year, with shareholders’ funds growing to N762.4billion up by 5.3 percent from N724.1billion as at 2020 financial year.
The Group Managing Director/CEO of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Kennedy Uzoka, expressed satisfaction with the Bank’s performance in the first quarter of 2021, saying “the result reflects UBA’s capacity to sustainably grow earnings even in a highly uncertain macroeconomic environment.”
The robust capital and liquidity positions, he said, have positioned the bank as it continues to support its customers across diverse sectors and markets, guided by prudent risk management practices.
“This impressive 2021Q1 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, while 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,” the GMD said. 
Uzoka said the 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, he said, was making strong progress in Nigeria where our continuous market share and efficiency gains are translating into higher profits.
Hs expressed commitment of the bank to sustain its strong start throughout the year, leveraging  its customer-first (C-1st) philosophy and unparalleled execution to deliver even stronger returns to our esteemed shareholders in 2021 and beyond;” Uzoka said.
The UBA’s Group Chief Finance Officer, Ugo Nwaghodoh, in his analysis of the report said annualised return on average equity of 20.5 percent and return on average asset of 2.0 percent.
He said these indices buttress  the bank’s commitment to deliver sustainable value to stakeholders. The bank, he assured, would continue to deploy its balance sheet efficiency and digital-led cost optimisation initiatives to achieve desired outcomes.
The analysis of the report also showed Cost-to-income ratio improved by 200bps to 60.4 percent during the period, while cost of funds settled at 2.0 percent, a 130bps reduction from 3.3 percent in 2020Q1.
Nwaghodoh said he was confidence that the bank would meet and surpass its target for the remaining three quarters of the year.
“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,” he said.

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