United Bank for Africa Plc has recorded an increase of 20 per cent to N4.87 trillion in the total asset at the end of the financial year ended, 31 st December, as against N4.07 trillion reported in 2017.
The bank disclosed this in its 2018 financials result released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) during the weekend.
The breakdown of the financial statement showed that the lender grew its loans and advances to customer by 3.9 per cent growth from N1.65 trillion to N1.72 trillion in 2018, while Customer Deposits increased by a remarkable 22.5 per cent to N3.3 trillion, compared to N2.7 trillion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017, reflecting increased customer confidence and enhanced service channels.
Also, shareholders’ funds decreased marginally by 4.8 per cent to N502.6 billion, reflecting the impact of International Financial Reporting Standards 9 (IFRS 9) implementation, even as the group gross earnings grew by seven per cent to N494.0 billion, compared to N461.6 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017.
Despite the challenging business environments in Nigeria and across key markets in Africa, the Bank’s Profit Before Tax was quite impressive at N106.8 billion, a 2.4 per cent growth, compared to N104.2 billion in 2017 financial year.
In the same vein, the Profit After Tax rose by 1.4 per cent to N78.6 billion, compared to N77.5 billion recorded in 2017.
Due to lower foreign exchange trading income, Operating Expenses grew by 4.1 per cent to N197.3 billion, compared to N189.7 billion in 2017.
The management however proposed final dividend of N0.65 for every ordinary share of 50 kobo each, bringing the total dividend to 0.85 per share for 2018 financial year ended December 31, 2018.
Commenting on the result, the Group Managing Director/CEO, Kennedy Uzoka noted that the year 2018 was important for the Group, as it gained further market share in many countries of operation.
More so, the CEO was excited at strategic achievements made in the year, including the start of wholesale banking operations in London, as it seeks to leverage the Group’s unique network across Africa. UBA also opened its 20th African operation.
“Defying the relatively weak economic growth in Africa, earnings were positive and we grew our balance sheet by 20 per cent, driven by the 23 per cent growth in our deposit funding.
In a period of economic uncertainty, we have focused on retail deposit mobilization, with exciting results.
We recorded a 48 percent year-on-year growth in retail deposits and improved our CASA ratio to 77 per cent, optimizing our funding mix, which will enhance our net interest margin (NIM), over the medium term,” Uzoka said.
Uzoka remained confident that the Bank’s performance would be even stronger in the years ahead and shareholders would enjoy even greater dividends, as the Group is well positioned to take advantage of imminent fiscal reforms across many economies in Africa, a positive outlook which should stimulate new opportunities in infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture and resource sectors.