United Bank for Africa ( UBA ) Plc has announced its unaudited 2018 Third Quarter Financial Results, with impressive growth in Gross Earnings, which berthed at N374.8 billion, a 12.3 per cent increase when compared to N333.9 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017.
According to the report filed to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), UBA’s net operating improved by 1.7 per cent year-on-year to N227.7 billion, when compared to N224 billion achieved in the similar period of 2017.
Amidst inflationary pressures and uncertainties undermining the business environment in Nigeria and a few other countries in Africa, UBA’s operating expenses only increased by 2.3 per cent to N149.1 billion, compared to N145 billion recorded in the same period of last year.
The low cost profile can be better appreciated when put in the perspective of double digit inflation rate in Nigeria. Overall, the bank posted a profit before tax of N79.1 billion whilst profit after tax stood at N61.7 billion. This profit performance puts the Bank’s annualized return on average equity at 16 per cent and 20 per cent at pre-tax and post-tax profit level respectively.
The bank continues to maintain a very strong balance sheet, with total assets of N4.51 trillion, an impressive 10.8 per cent year-to-date rise over the N4.07 trillion total assets recorded as at December 2017.
Another strong indication of the growth of the bank and more so, acceptance of the franchise across Africa is the remarkable 16.2 per cent year-to-date growth in customer deposits, which grew to N3.18trillion, compared to N2.73 trillion as at December 2017. The shareholders’ fund remained very strong at N509.3 billion, even as the implementation of International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 9, moderated the Group’s equity by 3.8 per cent year-to-date.
Commenting on the result, Kennedy Uzoka,the Group Managing Director/CEO, UBA Plc, said: “We achieved a number of strategic imperatives during the quarter and committed more investments in the future of the business – building a solid foundation for sustainable and superior return to our shareholders”
Uzoka said that he is pleased that the Bank’s Virtual Banking Chatbot, Leo, which debuted on Facebook earlier in the year, was successfully launched on WhatsApp during the quarter.
“This new channel offering, which enables our customers to fulfill their banking transactions through simple chat commands, is another premier initiative in our suite. The early pay-offs are quite compelling – recent customer acquisitions and broader transaction volume growth are exciting leading indicators that reinforce our confidence in these novel channels,” he said.
“Our franchise is increasingly renowned for financial solution and I am happy with the consistent growth in our businesses across the continent. We have grown balance sheet by 11% year-to-date to over N4.5 trillion. Notwithstanding the statutory-induced cost growth, our earnings proved resilient, as we recorded nine-month profit before tax of N79 billion. Notwithstanding the macro-risk arising from upcoming elections in Nigeria, our single largest market, we are confident of finishing the year strong,” Uzoka concluded.
Also speaking on UBA’s financial performance and position, the Group CFO, Ugo Nwaghodoh said that despite the relative volatility in the third quarter of 2018, especially in the face of U.S. interest rate hikes and concerns over global trade war, which has disrupted the interest and exchange rate environment in many African countries, the bank remains on track to deliver its earnings target for the year.