By Goddy Egene
The shares of United Bank for Africa Plc gained 5.9 per cent yesterday following investors’ positive reaction to its impressive half year (HI) financial results ended June 30, 2019. The pan-African bank last Friday unveiled its results, showing a jump of 21 per cent in profit and recommended an interim dividend of 20 kobo per share.
In an apparent response to the improved bottom-line, investors increased demand for stock, which lifted the price by 5.9 per cent from N5.85 to close at N6.20.
Market operators said the shares would rise further as investors move in to benefit the interim dividend and take advantage of the low price of the stock to increase their stakes because of the prospects in the bank.
The bank delivered a double digit growth of 21 per cent in its profit before tax (PBT) as it rose to N70.3 billion in 2019, up from N58.1 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 201. Profit after tax(PAT) grew faster by 29.6 per cent to N56.7 billion, compared to N43.8 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2018.
As at 30 June 2019, the bank’s total assets grew by 4.8 per cent crossing the N5 trillion mark to N5.10 trillion. Customer deposits also rose by 4.8 per cent to N3.51 trillion, compared to N3.35 trillion as at December 2018. This growth trajectory underscores UBA’s market share gain, as it increasingly wins customers through its revitalised customer service culture coupled with innovative digital banking offerings.
Commenting on the results, the Group Managing Director/CEO, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Mr. Kennedy Uzoka said: “I am pleased with the H1 of the group, having delivered 14 per cent growth in gross earnings and 21 per cent growth in profit before tax. Despite the subdued yield environment in some of our large markets, we achieved a nine per cent growth in interest income and defended the net interest margin. We also achieved a 39 per cent growth in our electronic banking revenues, as we broaden and deepened our digital banking play across Africa. Revenues from our remittance and funds transfer businesses grew 69% and 53 per cent respectively. All these factors attest to the efficacy of our strategies and the resilience of our business model.”
According to him, he is very optimistic that the ongoing group-wide transformation programme, will in the quarters ahead, enable the bank deliver substantial operational efficiencies and best-in-class customer service, which will ultimately boost earnings.