The United Bank for Africa Group (UBA) Plc thursday announced gross earnings of N147.2 billion for the first quarter(Q1) ended March 31, 2020, up from the N131.7 billion posted in the corresponding period of 2019.
Net interest income rose to N65.417 billion, compared with N58.075 billion in 2019. The bank leveraged on modest growth in both interest and non-interest income as well as increased efficiency to deliver an 8.5 per cent growth in profit before tax (PBT) to N32.7 billion, compared with the N30.2 billion recorded in 2019. Its profit after tax (PAT) also grew from N28.665 billion to N30.101 billion in 2020.
Again, UBA sustained its strong profitability recording an annualised 20 per cent Return on Average Equity (RoAE). Its loans and advances to customers rose from N2.061 trillion to N2.256 trillion in the period under review, while customers’ deposits improved from N3.832 trillion to N4.272 trillion, showing the confidence reposed in the brand.
The bank’s total assets also rose by 13.4 per cent to N6.4 trillion in the period under review, compared to the N5.6 trillion recorded at the end of its 2019 financial year, while shareholders’ funds grew to N612.6 billion from N597.9 billion in the same period.
Commenting on the performance, the Group Managing Director/CEO, UBA Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, expressed satisfaction, saying it was encouraging despite the challenging business environment.
He added: “We are pleased with our top and bottom lines in the first quarter of 2020, delivering N147.2billion in gross earnings and PBT of N32.7billion. The double-digit growth in the topline testifies to the resilience of our business model as a group, even as the 17 per cent growth in our fees and commission income underscores our diversified business model, enabling us to deliver best value to our stakeholders, even in tough macroeconomic scenarios.”
According to him, he was very excited about recent successes recorded in all business segments, especially the retail and electronic banking platform, within the period, with retail deposits accounting for 72 per cent of customer deposits even as cost-of-funds moderated to 3.3 per cent.
“We will continue to grow market share in all our markets, whilst maintaining cost discipline across our businesses, driving efficiency in our processes using best-rated technology,” he said.
Speaking on customers’ growing concerns on banking services during the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, Uzoka explained that the bank has put in place various strategic channels to ensure that customers transactions are effectively carried out with ease.
He said: “In response to the spread of COVID-19 several national governments have announced a partial or total lock down in a number of our markets, post Q1 2020. Fortunately, we have built robust electronic channel platforms to enable us effectively serve our customers from the convenience of their homes. Despite the lock down, our banking channels have remained open to our customers 24/7, even as we continue to align and adapt our operating model to ensure we service our customers excellently and safely.”