By Goddy Egene
The Chairman of pan-African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Tony Elumelu, yesterday assured shareholders and investors of higher returns, stating that the bank has established a diversified business model that ensures impressive performance even in periods of uncertainty, across its geographical network.
He gave the assurance to shareholders at the 59th annual general meeting (AGM) in Lagos, explaining that the bank had made strategic decisions that would strengthen its resolve to earn the industry leadership that it had envisioned in Nigeria, Africa and globally.
“We spearheaded strategic investments in our digital banking and technology platforms to further promote self-service banking; we have also focused on enhancing the capabilities of our people through various online capacity development programmes. Our African operations (ex-Nigeria) have contributed approximately 55 per cent of our profits for the year, illustrating that we are truly a pan-African bank,” Elumelu said.
According to him, the bank remains committed to ensuring its viability amid an ever-changing business environment and to continue be a role model for African businesses by showcasing the best of Africa to the world.
“The work we have done in strengthening our governance structures Group-wide and in improving our business and operating models in 2020 positions our bank to benefit from these recovery trends and to achieve significant market share gains across our operations,” he noted.
UBA’s profits grew remarkably by 27.7 percent to N113.8 billion at the end of 2020, compared to N89.1 billion in the 2019 financial year..3 billion at the end of the 2019 financial year.
The bank proposed a final dividend of 35 kobo for every ordinary share of 50 kobo, bringing the total dividend for the year to 52 kobo as the bank had paid an interim dividend of 17 kobo earlier in the year.
Shareholders at the meeting commended the bank’s decision to plough-back some of its profits into business consolidation, adding that these times call for prudent and effective management of financial resources for all businesses especially those with high shareholding rate such as UBA.
For instance, Sunny Nwosu of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, commended the board and management of the bank for keeping up with its activities despite the Covid-19 pandemic and its resultant effect on major businesses.
Whilst advising the company to gear up efforts to increase dividends in the next financial year, Nwosu praised UBA’s for ensuring that the African subsidiaries performed well by contributing 55 per cent to the Group’s business.