VIRTUE OF EFFICIENT MANAGEMENT, perhaps, earned UBA the stirring results it posted in 2019 Financial Year Business Report, in a country, presently, enmeshed in unpredictable business environment, sluggish national economic growth, unemployment; and saddled with insecurity and poverty.
Highlights from the financial year report showed areas of impressive performance that would delight the bank’s stakeholders. UBA earned N111.3 billion profit before tax, while shareholders will earn N1:00 dividend for the period, ending December 31, 2019.
BREAKDOWN: Profit before tax is N111.3 billion for financial year ended December 31, 2019. Proposed final shareholders dividend is 80 kobo for every ordinary share of 50 kobo, subject to confirmation of shareholders at its Annual General Meeting, AGM. UBA, earlier in the year, paid interim dividend of 20 kobo to shareholders. Final and total reward to shareholders for the year will be N1.00.
Gross earnings grew by 13.3 per cent to N559.8billion, compared to N494billion recorded in corresponding period of 2018. Total assets also grew by 15.1 per cent to N5.6trillion during the period. Profit before tax was impressive at N111.3 billion, compared to N106.8 billion the previous year, giving the challenging business environment in Nigeria.
Profit after tax rose by 13.3 per cent to N89.1billion in 2019, compared to N78.6billion year-on-year. Cost side, operating expenses grew by 10.1 per cent to N217.2billion, against N197.3billion in 2018, below average inflation rate within the period, attributed to cost efficiency. And posted remarkable 20.2 per cent growth to N2.1 trillion loans to customers. Customers deposits rose 14.4 per cent to N3.8 trillion, compared to N3.3 trillion, year-on-year.
UBA’s 2919 audited result released by Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, showed remarkable growth on the top and bottom lines.
Kennedy Uzoka, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, UBA, speaking on the bank’s performance said: “The year 2019 was a very remarkable one for UBA given the adverse market developments. Nonetheless, we achieved sizable growth in the balance sheets and earnings, even as we reposition the Bank for the future. Gross earnings crossed the N500billion threshold to N559billion, whilst total assets also crossed the N5 trillion-mark for the first time to N5.6trillion.
“Our strategy remains centred around unparalleled service to our esteemed customers. Accordingly, we are making significant investments in a technology-driven transformation journey. We have recorded early gains as shown in the 39 per cent growth in electronic banking income to N38.8billion in 2019 from N27.9 billion in 2018. Our businesses are gaining commendable share in their markets across regions in Africa, as we deepen the scale and scope of our operations.”
Elated Uzoka added, moving forward: “In 2020, we will pursue the aggressive deepening of market share in all our subsidiaries, leveraging technology, rich human resources and our customer-first strategy to win in all the markets we operate, notwithstanding the challenges of our operating environment”.
Ugo Nwaghodoh, Group Chief Financial Officer, CFO, on his part, emphasised that the Bank is well positioned to sustain the impressive performance across key financial indices. Already, he said, earlier investments in digital and technological transformation is, significantly, paying off.