The United Bank for Africa Plc has released its audited 2019 half-year financial statements, showing gross earnings of US$814.5 million and profit before tax of US$195.0 million for the six months ended June 30, 2019. The Group delivered an annualized 21.7 percent return on average equity (RoAE) and declared an Interim Dividend of N0. 20 per share.
A statement quoting the UBA Group Chief Executive Officer, Kennedy Uzoka, said “I am pleased with the half-year performance of the Group, having delivered 14 percent growth in gross earnings and 21 percent growth in profit before tax. In spite of the subdued yield environment in some of our large markets, we achieved a 9 percent growth in interest income and defended the net interest margin. We also achieved a 39 percent growth in our electronic banking revenues, as we broaden and deepen our digital banking play across Africa. Revenues from our remittance and funds transfer businesses grew 69 percent and 53 percent respectively. All these attest to the efficacy of our strategies and the resilience of our business model.”
He further stated “I am very optimistic that the ongoing Group-wide transformation program will, in the quarters ahead, enable the Bank to deliver substantial operational efficiencies and best-in-class customer service, which would ultimately boost earnings. We sustained our asset quality, with the NPL ratio down to 5.62 percent, from 6.45 percent as at 2018 fiscal year (FY). We would continue to adopt best practice standards to grow and manage the portfolio in the quarters ahead.”
Also speaking on UBA’s results, the Group Chief Finance Officer (CFO), Ugo Nwaghodoh said “We had a strong start in the year given the prevailing macroeconomic environment across our various markets. There is better dispersion in profit contribution as our banking subsidiaries across Africa contributed 38 percent of the profit before tax, whilst our recently re-positioned UK business contributed 4 percent. We expect this dispersion to continue, as the subsidiaries consolidate on their share of the various markets.
“I am particularly delighted that the key ratios are trending in the right direction. The net interest margin at 6.4 percent is trending upwards and will continue to improve as we responsibly grow the risk asset portfolio and realign the funding mix to lower our cost of funds. The cost-to-income ratio (CIR) trended down to 60 percent as we focus on the balance sheet and operational efficiencies, which should enable us, deliver our medium-term CIR target. Capital adequacy ratio increased to 28 percent from 23.6% in December 2018, providing a very strong buffer for asset growth.”