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UBA Grows Gross Earnings By 16%, Delivers 17% Return on Average Equity, Sustains Interim Dividend

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Africa’s leading financial institution, United Bank for Africa Plc has announced its audited 2018 half-year financial results, showing strong growth across key performance metrics as well as a significant contribution from its African subsidiaries.

Despite declining yield environment in two core markets, Nigeria and Ghana, the pan Africa financial institution delivered double-digit growth in gross earnings, as it recorded a 16 percent year-on-year rise in top-line to N258 billion, compared to N223 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017. This performance, according to analysts, underscores the capacity of the Group to deliver strong performance through economic cycles, even in a challenging business environment.

According to the report filed to the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Wednesday, UBA, reported strong growth in operating income at N168.5 billion, compared to N161.8 billion in the first half of 2017, an increase of 4.1 percent. Notwithstanding the inflation-induced cost pressure in the period, UBA finished the first half of the year strongly, with a Profit Before Tax of N58.1 billion. The Profit After Tax also improved to N43.8 billion, a 3.4 percent growth compared to N42.3 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2017. The first half of the year profit translated to the pre-tax and post-tax return on average equity of 23% and 17% respectively.

UBA’s foreign operations continue to grow in importance, contributing 40% of the Group’s profit, which according to analysts attests to the benefit of UBA’s pan-African strategy and reinforces the Bank’s objective of achieving 50 percent earnings contribution from offshore subsidiaries.

In the first six months of the year, the Bank’s Total Assets grew 4.9% to N4.27 trillion and Customer Deposits rose by 6.1 per cent to N2.90 trillion, compared to N2.73 trillion as at December 2017. This growth trajectory underlines UBA’s market share gain, as it increasingly wins customers through its re-engineered customer service and innovative digital offerings. The Group’s Shareholders’ Funds remained strong at N496.3 billion, even as implementation of IFRS 9 impacted the total equity of the bank and its peers.

In line with its culture of paying both interim and final cash dividend, the Board of Directors of UBA Plc declared an interim dividend of N0.20 per share for every ordinary share of N0.50 each held on the qualification date – Wednesday, September 05, 2018.

Commenting on the results, the Group Managing Director/CEO, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Mr Kennedy Uzoka said: “Our performance in the first half the year reflects the resilience of our business model and strategies. Despite declining yields in two core markets, Nigeria and Ghana, we delivered double-digit growth in gross earnings. Our performance demonstrates the success of our digital banking initiatives and broader Customer-First strategies”

“We are integrating banking to our customers’ lifestyle, simplifying processes for routine transactions and driving financial inclusion by making banking services accessible and affordable. We are creating opportunities for wealth creation and economic progress, as we empower our customers through innovative platforms and solutions that support their personal and business growth. Our commitment to delivering excellent service is paying off, as we increasingly win a bigger share of customers’ wallet across our chosen markets. We won the highly coveted “Africa’s Best Digital Bank” Award by Euromoney, demonstrating our pioneering initiatives are being recognised with Leo, our digital banker having been name-checked by Mark Zuckerberg ” Uzoka said.

“Our enhanced asset-liability management strategies improved asset yield and grew interest income by 21% despite prevailing yield environment. Our re-engineered sales structure provided the impetus for renewed retail deposit growth. I am particularly pleased by the 24% year-to-date growth in retail savings and current account deposits, underpinning the increasing penetration of our digital offerings and the Group’s overarching goal of democratizing banking across Africa. We improved net interest margin to 7.4%in line with our 2018 target, notwithstanding strong competition for wholesale deposits and the impact of rising global interest rates on our foreign currency funding,” he concluded

Also speaking on UBA’s financial performance and position, the Group CFO, Ugo Nwaghodoh said; “We finished the first half of the year in a stronger position and we are optimistic on the future of our business. Amidst economic recovery and uncertainties in Nigeria, our largest market, we grew net interest income and operating income by 9.6% and 4.1% respectively. We doubled revenue from trade services and grew e-banking income by 24%, a testament to our market share gain, which is driven by innovative offerings. Our foreign operations contributed 40% of the Group’s profit, underlining the benefit of our Pan-African strategy.

“We sustained our asset quality, with a cost of risk at 0.8%. Whilst the loan book declined by 6.5% due to prepayments from some customers in Nigeria and Ghana, we grew the overall balance sheet by 5% in the first half of the year. The Group’s capital adequacy ratio of 23%, Bank’s liquidity ratio of 48% and a loan-to-deposit ratio of 57% all reinforce our capacity to grow, with ample headroom for risk asset creation,” Nwaghodoh said.

In recognition of UBA’s dominance in Africa’s digital banking space, UBA emerged the Best Institution in Digital Banking across Africa, courtesy of Euromoney. Earlier in the year, UBA launched Leo, an e-chat service using artificial intelligence to help customers execute transactions on Facebook, the first of its kind in Africa. The Bank is set to replicate the success of Leo on WhatsApp on September 1st, bringing convenience to its growing youthful customer base across Africa.

UBA is one of Africa’s leading banks with operations in 20 African countries. It also has a presence in the global financial centres; London, New York and Paris.

UBA provides banking services to more than 15 million customers globally, through diverse channels.

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BUSINESS

Zenith Bank Dominates Trading On NSE

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Zenith International Bank on Wednesday dominated the activity chart on the nation’s bourse, accounting for 64.04 percent of the total volume of shares traded.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bank sold 288.27 million shares valued at N6.68 billion.

Consequently, investors bought and sold 450.14 million shares worth N9.39 billion achieved in 2,858 deals, representing an increase of 200.79 percent.

This was in contrast with a turnover of 149.65 million shares valued at N2.79 billion transacted in 3,063 deals on Tuesday.

Further analysis of the activity chart shows that FBN Holdings came with an exchange of N40.95 million shares worth N303.49 million.

Guaranty Trust Bank traded 33.74 million shares valued at N1.26 billion, while FCMB Group transacted 11.24 million shares worth N18.56 million.

Access Bank sold a total of 9.39 million shares valued at N74.14 million.

However, the market indices recorded marginal loss, dropping by 0.14 percent due to price depreciation.

Specifically, the All-Share Index dipped 45.73 points or 0.14 percent to close at 32,108.30 against 32,154.03 recorded on Tuesday.

Also, the market capitalization which opened at N11.738 trillion shed N16 billion or 0.14 percent to close at N11.722 trillion.

Seplat topped the losers’ chart, dropping by N2 to close at N638 per share.

Lafarge Africa trailed with a loss of N1.70 to close at N15.70, Presco declined by N1.25 to close at N64.50 per share.

Dangote Sugar Refinery depreciated by 45k to close at N13, while Guaranty Trust Bank shed 25k to close at N37.05 per share.

Conversely, Nigerian Breweries led the gainers’ table, growing by 50k to close at N81.50 per share.

Fidson followed with a gain of 40k to close at N4.90, while Redstar appreciated by 30k to close at N4.50 per share.

United Bank for Africa added 20k to close at N8, while Zenith Bank increased by 15k to close at N24 per share.

 

(NAN)

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Advertorial: Get 50% Discount On UBA Prepaid Card

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Get 50% Discount On UBA Prepaid Card

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Union Bank’s Edu360; Fostering New Collaborations and Partnerships In Education

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Union Bank recently held the first edition of its annual education fair, edu360 in Lagos, drawing stakeholders from across the education ecosystem including teachers, parents, school owners, investors, students and other key participants.

The event tagged “Investing in the Future”, took place at Harbour Point in Victoria Island and served as a platform for collaboration among the education sector stakeholders, with the goal of accelerating development and much-needed investment in the sector.

Speaking at the ceremony to mark the kick-off of the 2-day event, the Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank, Emeka Emuwa reiterated the Bank’s focus on education as a key driver of national development.

He said; “Edu360 is positioned to be the leading education platform in Nigeria, facilitating collaboration among stakeholders within the sector. We firmly believe that the private sector, working closely with the government and other stakeholders, can play a critical role in fast-tracking solutions to move the educational sector forward.

At Union Bank, we are committed to identifying sectors that are vital to shaping a better, sustainable future for Nigerians.”

The Bank’s Head of Commercial Banking, Adekunle Sonola and other members of the Board of Directors were also in attendance along with Nigeria’sfirst female Minister of Industry, Chief (Dr.) Mrs. Nike Akande; the Minister of Education, represented by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe and the Governor of Lagos state represented by his Special Adviser on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh.

While delivering the keynote address, Dr. Modupe Olateju-Adefeso, Managing Director of The Education Partnership (TEP) Centre spoke extensively on the linkages between and education and national development, drawing examples from the health sector.

Over200 teachers from government and private owned schools benefited from free training sessions as part of Union Bank’s drive to upskill the workforce of the important sector. The teachers also received free teaching aids to support their teaching efforts.

There were also digital training sessions for parents and children courtesy Google in addition to Coding and Robotics classes. The fair also featured private workshops and seminars to address sensitive issues concerning raising well-adjusted children in today’s world.

Speakers at the panel discussions included Olympic gold medallist, Enefiok Udo-Obong; award-winning actress, Bikiya Graham Douglas; Special needs advocate, Angela Emuwa; Consultant psychiatrist, Dr. Yewande Oshodi and popular Nollywood actress and Producer, Kemi ‘Lala’ Akindoju

Over 70 exhibitors and partners including Google, Lego, Sage, Nestle, Simpli Foods, as well as leading schools in and around Lagos participated in the 2-day exhibition to showcase their goods and services.

Union Bank remains committed to supporting Nigeria’s growth by identifying and investing in sectors that are vital to shaping a better, more sustainable future for generations to come.

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