With an impressive double-digit growth across most of its major income lines, Pan-African financial institution, the United Bank for Africa, UBA, Plc, has reported a 24 per cent year-on-year growth in Profit-Before-Tax of N40.6 million in the first quarter of 2021.
Leveraging on modest growth in both interest and non-interest income, as well as increased efficiency to deliver an impressive 24 per cent year-on-year growth in Profit Before Tax, PBT, in the first three months of 2021 financial year, to N40.6 billion, compared to N32.7 billion recorded in the first quarter of 2020, the bank’s Profit-After-Tax, PAT, also grew by 26.8 per cent from N30.1 billion in March 2020, to N38.2 billion in the period under review.
Interestingly, the bank again sustained its strong profitability, by recording an annualized 20.5 per cent Return on Average Equity, RoAE, compared to 19.9 per cent in the same period of 2020, according to its unaudited results.
As a leader in the industry, UBA is driven by a year-on-year growth in interest income, with the Group recording another impressive 5.5 percent year-on-year growth in gross earnings to close at N155.4 billion for the three month period ending March 2021, compared to N147.2 billion recorded in the first three months of 2020.
The report stated that the bank’s total assets also rose by 2.5 per cent to N7.9 trillion in the period under review, compared to N7.7 trillion recorded at the end of the 2020 financial year, while shareholders’ funds grew to N762.4 billion; up by 5.3 per cent from N724.1 billion as at 2020.
UBA Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr Kennedy Uzoka, while expressing satisfaction with the bank’s performance in the first quarter of 2021, noted that the result reflected the “bank’s capacity to sustainably grow earnings, even in a highly uncertain macroeconomic environment.’’
He said that the robust capital and liquidity positions of the bank had positioned it as it continues to support its customers across diverse sectors and markets, guided by prudent risk management practices.
Uzoka said, “This impressive 2021Q1 results reflect the capacity of our business to sustainably grow earnings even in a highly uncertain macroeconomic environment.
“We remain upbeat on the macroeconomic outlook of the countries in which we operate, especially as the COVID-19 vaccine distribution gains traction globally, whilst commodity prices and currencies continue to stabilise.
“Our robust capital and liquidity positions have positioned us to continue to support our customers across diverse sectors and markets, guided by prudent risk management practices.’
“The bank is diligently executing its priorities for the year 2021 as it leverages people, process, and technology to deliver the best customer experience across all its channels and touch points, achieving industry leadership and dominance.
“The bank is making strong progress in Nigeria where our continuous market share and efficiency gains are translating into higher profits. We are committed to sustaining this strong start throughout the year, leveraging our customer-First (C-1st) philosophy and unparalleled execution to deliver even stronger returns to our esteemed shareholders in 2021 and beyond.’’
Giving a break down, UBA’s Group Chief Finance Officer, Ugo Nwaghodoh, said, “I am particularly pleased with our annualized return on average equity of 20.5 per cent and return on average asset of 2.0 per cent, as these indices buttress our commitment to delivering sustainable value to our stakeholders.
“We continued to deploy our balance sheet efficiency and digital-led cost optimisation initiatives to achieve desired outcomes. Cost-to-income ratio improved by 200bps to 60.4 per cent during the period, whilst cost of funds settled at 2.0 per cent, a 130bps reduction from 3.3 per cent in 2020Q1.’’
Expressing confidence that the bank would meet and surpass its target for the remaining three quarters of the year,Nwaghodoh added, “We are confident on the strong prospect for earnings growth, particularly as we are better positioned to consolidate recent market share gains in Nigeria and other geographies where we operate.
“This result is a strong start for the year, and we are optimistic about sustaining the exciting performance throughout the year and beyond.”
UBA Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than 21 million customers, across over 1,000 business offices and customer touch points, in 20 African countries.
With presence in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and France, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking.