Pan Africa financial services group, United Bank for Africa Plc has announced its unaudited results for the first quarter of 2016 showing gross earnings of N74 billion and profit before tax of N18 billion for the three months ended March 2016. The Group sustained its strong profitability, recording an annualized 20% return on average equity (RoAE).
“I am pleased to report yet another impressive performance for the period. In addition to achieving better pricing on our assets and liabilities, we leveraged enhanced service channels in growing transaction banking volumes and fee income” said Phillips Oduoza, the GMD/CEO of UBA Plc, while commenting on the results. He explained that the bank recorded an impressive 12% year-on-year growth in net interest income and sustained net operating income at N50 billion for the first three months of the year.
“I am particularly pleased with the increased contribution of the African subsidiaries, which represented 28% of our Group’s top- and bottom- lines in the first quarter of the year”. He admitted that the first quarter has been challenging, with a host of macroeconomic pressures ranging from inflationary threats to fuel shortages; all of which impacted the business environment.
However, he said UBA remained committed to creating value for its esteemed customers; a strategy which will sustain its strong profitability through the year. More so, the Group remained focused on sustaining the quality of the bank’s balance sheet, Mr. Phillips added.
“We grew the loan book by a modest N13 billion or USD65 million in the quarter and maintained our decent asset quality metrics , 1.7% non-performing loans (NPL) ratio and 0.4% cost of risk” Oduoza said.
He expressed hope that the implementation of the 2016 budget in Nigeria, the bank’s single largest market, will lead to improved economic activities and business opportunities and he assured that UBA is committed to creating superior and sustainable value for all shareholders by leveraging on its unique Pan-African platform in gaining a fair share of its target markets.
Ugo Nwaghodoh the Group CFO, in his explanation of the bank’s strong performance attributed it to efficiency gains from operations and sales.
“We effectively balanced our growth appetite with profitability, thus creating value. Year-to-date, we achieved a 40bps improvement in net interest margin (NIM), as we recorded a notable 50bps moderation in funding cost to 3.5%. It is my pleasure to report that low cost, savings and current accounts now represent 80% of our deposit funding” Nwaghodoh explained.
He also said that despite a rise in headline inflation to 12.8% in Nigeria, UBA’s focus on cost efficiency initiatives resulted in a 1.2% year-on-year decline in operating expenses. “This performance reinforces our ability to sustainably create superior return for our shareholders over the medium to long term”