BY NDUMBE BELL GASTON IN DOUALA
The United Bank for Africa PLC has released its first quarterly figures showing gross earnings in financial results of N101.2 billion and profit before tax of N25.5 billion (in Nairas). This according to the Earnings Press release, is a profit growth of 41% in the first quarter of this year. The Group, says their report, is said to have sustained strong profitability, recording an annualized 19.4% return on average equity.
According to their income statement, gross earnings this quarter vis that of N73.7 billion at same period in 2016 showed a climb of 37.5%. Their net operating income of N69.5 billion vis N50.2 billion in 2016 showed an increase of 38.3%. Profit before tax of N25.5 billion when compared to N18.1 billion of same period last year surged 40.8%. Profit after tax N22.4 billion climbed as high as 32.6% from N17.00 billion this period last year. All the balance sheet totals of total assets, net loans, customer deposits and shareholders’ funds, are all looking up, globally on an average of say 4%. One could say it was all greener pastures this quarter.
Kennedy Uzoka, the Group M.D and CEO called this a recovery of the Nigerian and African markets. He equally prided the results as an evidence of efficiency in pricing, balance sheet management, and service-focused operations “Driven by our balance sheet liquidity, we grew interest income by 43% to an unprecedented quarterly run-rate of N77 billion. Buoyed by improving foreign currency supply in Nigeria, remittance and trade service fees almost doubled. Foreign currency trading income grew 148% year on year as we leveraged our customer first initiatives, to gain market share in these offerings. More so, it is my pleasure to report that we made further progress on our consistent retail penetration as reflected in the 12% year to date growth in retail savings and current account deposits,” among others.
The Group’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Ugo Nwaghodoh commenting on the financial performance stated that the results further proves the resilience and prospects of their chosen markets and broadly in line with their 2017 targets. After citing other statistics, he declared “Our profit after tax of N22.4 billion translates to a 19.4% return on average equity which is broadly in line with our 2017 target. We remain steadfast on our prudent and proactive risk management which helps to minimize the impact of the macroeconomic pressures on our portfolio.”