Pan-African financial institution, United Bank for Africa Plc says its gross earnings grew by 13.3 per cent to N559.8bn in 2019 financial period from N494.0bn in the corresponding period of 2018.
A statement from the bank in its audited results for the full-year ended December 2019 revealed that its total assets also grew by 15.1 per cent to N5.6tn in the year under review.
This was the first time the bank’s gross earnings and assets would respectively cross the N500bn and N5tn marks, it added.
Notwithstanding the challenging business environment in Nigeria, the bank’s profit before tax rose to N111.3bn in 2019, from N106.8bn at the end of the 2018 financial year.
It added that the profit after tax rose by 13.3 per cent to N89.1bn from N78.6bn recorded in 2018.
On the cost side, it added, operating expenses grew by 10.1 per cent to N217.2bn in 2019, from N197.3bn in 2018, well below average inflation rate within the period, a reflection of cost efficiency gains.
These results depicted the bank’s deepening of its Pan-African business strategy, given the growth in the contribution of its 19 African subsidiaries to the Group’s net earnings and total assets, it added.
It stated that Ex-Nigeria Operations’ contributed 46 per cent to the Group’s profit before tax in the year under review.
The statement said UBA had been deploying innovative lifestyle products to expand its market share across sub-Saharan Africa, leveraging its presence in the United Kingdom, United States of America and France, to build a true Africa’s Global Bank, facilitating trade and capital flows between Africa and the rest of the world.
In its tradition of rewarding shareholders, the bank proposed a final dividend of 80 kobo for every ordinary share of 50 kobo for the financial year ended December 31, 2019.
The final dividend which was subject to the affirmation of the shareholders at its annual general meeting would bring the total dividend for the year to N1.00, as the bank had paid an interim dividend of 20 kobo earlier in the year, it stated.
UBA recorded 20.2 per cent growth to N2.1tn in loans to customers, while customer deposits increased by 14.4 per cent to N3.8tn, compared to N3.3tn recorded in the corresponding period of 2018.
This reflected increased customer confidence, enhanced customer experience, early wins from the ongoing business transformation programme and the deepening of its retail banking franchise, it added.
Commenting on the result, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Kennedy Uzoka, noted that 2019 was important for UBA Group, as it gained further market share in most of its countries of operation.
He stated, “The year 2019 was a very remarkable one for UBA given the adverse market developments. Nonetheless, we achieved sizable growth in balance sheet and earnings, even as we reposition the Bank for the future.”