United Bank for Africa (UBA) has released 2014 full year audited results showing that consolidation of its African operations and enhanced productivity are sustaining the Bank’s growth momentum.
The results of the Pan-African Bank, released last Wednesday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), show a 10 percent growth in gross earnings to N290bn.
In other indices, the Bank recorded a Profit-Before-Tax of N56.2 billion and a Profit-After-Tax of N48bn. Earnings received a boost from both Interest and Non-Interest Income showing the Bank’s diversified and stable income base. Interest Income rose 5.91 percent to N197 billion in December 2014 from N186 billion in December 2013, while Non-Interest Income rose by 18.17 percent to N93.3 billion from N79.0 billion.
The Group Chief Financial Officer (GCFO), Ugo Nwaghodoh expressed optimism that the Bank will continue to record a steady and sustained increase in its profitability by leveraging on low cost stable funds as well as rising opportunities in the Bank’s target markets in Nigeria and across Africa.
“The performance of our African business was boosted by increased cross selling of our products and a number of other strategic initiatives. As we gain critical mass in the African market, we look forward to increased earnings in line with the diversification of our business across Africa,” explained Nwaghodoh.
Customer deposits in the Bank in the period under review remained stable at N2.17 trillion in 2014. Buoyed by this stability, UBA expanded its support for businesses on the continent by increasing its loan book by 14 percent to N1.072 trillion in 2014.
“We expanded our loan book without compromising our focus on asset quality. Notably, our non-performing loan ratio remains one of the best-in-class at 1.6 percent, as we responsibly grew risk assets in line with our defined risk appetite and target markets,” said the Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Phillips Oduoza.
The Bank was also able to grow shareholders’ fund significantly by 13 percent to N265 billion in 2014 from N235 billion in 2013, with a capital adequacy ratio above regulatory requirement. “We will leverage on our adequate capitalization and liquidity to grow market share across target business lines,” said Oduoza.
UBA also announced that it is paying a proposed cash dividend of N0.10 per share in a move, the Board said, is to effectively reflect the balance between giving short term return to investors and the commitment to create sustainable long term value to all shareholders.
“In arriving at the N0.10 proposed dividend, the Board considered a number of factors including shareholders dividend expectation, capital requirements for growth opportunities, and increasing regulatory capital requirements under Basel II. The board decided in favor of relatively higher earnings retention to strengthen the capital base, in line with the strategic goal of increasing our share of the market across all our business segments. We remain committed to creating sustainable long term value to all shareholders,” said Oduoza.