The Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Emeka Emuwa has said the bank remains committed to delivering improved performance and higher returns in 2020 and beyond.
Emuwa, stated this at the annual general meeting (AGM) of the bank, which was held virtual in Lagos, in keeping with the physical distancing measures put in place due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“Returning value to our shareholders has been at the core of Union Bank’s transformation and continuous drive to become a leading financial institution in Nigeria. Notwithstanding the tough operating environment, we remain focused on our strategy and ambition as we strive towards achieving our ambition to be Nigeria’s most reliable and trusted banking partner,” he said.
According to him, in 2019, they continued to emphasise revenue productivity and efficiency across all facets of their business.
“We were focused on further leveraging the platform (people, technology, brand and infrastructure) we have steadily built over the years to drive sustainable growth in earnings and profitability. Our efforts yielded positive results as we witnessed major feats across all our priority areas,” he added.
In her address, the Chairman of the bank, Mrs. Beatrice Hamza Bassey said she was pleased to inform the shareholders that they have recommended a dividend payment for the first time in over a decade.
“We remain committed to delivering high-quality earnings to our shareholders, and I am pleased to announce we were able to deliver this in 2019, despite the challenging operating environment. We remain focused on delivering value to our shareholders as we continue to drive growth and profitability of our business towards sustaining this trend,” she stated.
The shareholders approved the 25 kobo dividend per share and applauded the bank’s strong performance and focus on shareholder value enhancement.
Union Bank recorded profit before tax of N24.7 billion for the year ended 2019, showing a growth of 33 per cent compared with N18.7 billion posted in 2018. Gross earnings grew by 14 per cent to N159.9 billion from N140.1 billion in 2018. Customer deposits also increased by five percent to N886.3 billion compared to N844.4 billion in 2018, reflecting the strength of the brand in a very competitive environment for deposits.
Meanwhile, the equities market gained further yesterday as buying interest in Dangote Cement Plc and Nestle Nigeria Plc lifted the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index by 3.12 per cent to be at 23,809.31. Market capitalisation added N374.9 billion to close at N12.4 trillion.