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UBA Delivers 21% Growth in Profit, 21.7% Return On Average Equity, Declares N0.20 Interim Dividend

Peter Okunoren

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Africa’s leading financial institution, United Bank for Africa Plc has announced its audited half-year financial results for the period ended June 2019, showing impressive growth across key performance indices as well as a significant contribution from its African subsidiaries.

In spite of the increasingly unpredictable environment witnessed in some of its countries of operations, the pan African financial institution delivered double-digit growth in its profit before tax as it rose by 21 percent to N70.3bn for the half-year to June 2019, up from N58.1bn recorded in the similar period of 2018, just as the Profit after Tax also improved to N56.7 billion, a 29.6 percent growth compared to N43.8 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2018. The profit for the first half of the year translated to an annualized return on average equity of 21.7 percent.

According to its results filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange, UBA recorded a 14 percent year-on-year rise in top-line, with gross earnings of N293.7 billion, compared to N257.9 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2018. Analysts say that this result emphasizes the capacity of the Group to deliver strong performance through economic cycles in spite of the overall challenging business environment.

As at 30 June 2019, the Bank’s Total Assets grew by 4.8% crossing the N5 trillion mark to N5.10 trillion. Customer Deposits also rose by 4.8 percent to N3.51 trillion, compared to N3.35 trillion as at December 2018. This growth trajectory underscores UBA’s market share gain, as it increasingly wins customers through its revitalized customer service culture coupled with innovative digital banking offerings. The bank’s Shareholders’ Funds remained strong at N542.5 billion, reflecting its strong capacity for internal capital generation.

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 by its shareholders.

Commenting on the results, the Group Managing Director/CEO, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Mr. Kennedy Uzoka said: “I am pleased with the half performance of the Group, having delivered 14% growth in gross earnings and 21% growth in profit before tax. Despite the subdued yield environment in some of our large markets, we achieved a 9% growth in interest income and defended the net interest margin. We also achieved a 39% growth in our electronic banking revenues, as we broaden and deepened our digital banking play across Africa. Revenues from our remittance and funds transfer businesses grew 69% and 53% respectively. All these factors 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 will ultimately boost earnings. We sustained our asset quality with the NPL ratio down to 5.62%, from 6.45% as at 2018FY. We will continue to adopt best practice standards to grow and manage the portfolio in the quarters ahead.”

Also speaking on UBA’s results, the Group CFO, Ugo Nwaghodoh said; “We had a strong start in the year given the prevailing macroeconomic environment across our various markets. There is better diversification in profit contribution as our banking subsidiaries across Africa contributed 38% of the profit before tax, whilst our recently repositioned UK business contributed 4%. 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 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 trended down to 60% with our focus on balance sheet and operational efficiencies which should enable us to deliver our medium-term CIR target. Capital adequacy ratio increased to 28% from 23.6% in December 2018, providing a very strong buffer for asset growth,” he stated.

United Bank for Africa, Africa’s global bank, was founded 70 years ago in Nigeria and today, operates in 20 African countries and in the United Kingdom, the USA and with presence in France. UBA serves over 17 million customers across the globe with more than 1000 branches and touchpoints. In 2018, the bank received the award of Africa’s Best Digital Bank by the Banker’s magazine.

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Melaye Vs Adeyemi: INEC Fixes November 16 For Fresh Kogi West Senatorial Election

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The fresh Kogi West Senatorial election involving Sen. Dino Melaye of the PDP and Sen. Smart Adeyemi of the APC is to hold on November 16, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Melaye and Adeyemi INEC, in a statement, signed Mr. Festus Okoye, Chairman of its Information and Voter Committee, said that the senate election would hold simultaneously with the Kogi governorship election.

Okoye, INEC National Commissioner, in a statement made available to journalists on Monday in Abuja, said that another by-election for the Sabuwa State Constituency in Katsina State had been slated for November 30.

“The decision was taken at the commission’s meeting held on Monday,” the statement said. He said that the fresh election was a sequel to the nullification of the Kogi West Senatorial District election conducted on February 23, by the Election Petitions Tribunal and its subsequent affirmation by the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal had upheld the ruling of the Election Petitions Tribunal which nullified the election of Sen. Dino Melaye (PDP), following a suit filed by Sen. Smart Adeyemi of the APC.

The Appeal Court, on October 11, 2019, ordered INEC to conduct a fresh election within 90 days from the date of judgment with all those who participated in it as eligible candidates. Okoye appealed to the candidates and political parties to conduct issue-based campaigns. “We also enjoin stakeholders to eschew violence and avoid acts capable of creating apprehension or a sense of fear before, during and after the elections,” he said.

Okoye also disclosed that following extensive consultations with stakeholders and a review of the security situation with the relevant security agencies, the Commission fixed Nov. 30 for the conduct of bye-election in Sabuwa State Constituency, Katsina State.

He recalled that the Katsina State House of Assembly, vide a letter with Reference Number KTSHA/PER/HON/l24/VOL.l/24, dated Sept. 26, notified INEC of the death of Mustapha Abdullahi, who represented the constituency, and subsequently declared the seat vacant.

He said that the Commission would issue the Notice of Election on October 23, while the conduct of party primaries would take place between October 24 and November 6.

According to Okoye, the last day for the submission of personal particulars of candidates (Form CF001), and the list of candidates (Form CFOO2) is November 8.

“The last day for the submission of names and addresses of polling agents is November 15, while campaigns will end on November 28,” he said.

(Vanguard)

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BREAKING: Heavily Armed Thugs Attack Kwankwaso In Kano, 8 Persons Critically Injured

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Former Governor of Kano State and the immediate past Senator representing Kano Central, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, was attacked by thugs who are yet to be identified in Kano, Monday.

The attack, which followed the former governor’s visit to his hometown, Madobi where he had gone to open a midwifery school, was said to have been carried out around the state underpass.

Eight persons were said to have been critically injured while several cars were damaged beyond recognition.

However, Hajiya Binta Sipikin, Kwankwaso’s media aide, linked the attack to thugs loyal to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.

She said, “This attack was preplanned because we were told that heavy-armed thugs were waiting under the bridge to attack us when we were coming from Madobi.

“We believe Ganduje was behind this attack because we heard one of his aide names being mentioned during the attack.”

She noted that scores of their members were seriously injured and currently receiving medical attention in various clinics including the International Hospital while 10 vehicles destroyed and personal items carted away by political thugs believed to have been sponsored by the Kano State Government at Sharada Panshekara Sabon Titi bridge.

However, one of the Governor’s top aides, who pleaded not to be named, denied being behind the attack on Kwankwaso’s convoy.

He alleged that the attack was an internal wrangling between the Kwankwasiyya members who were apparently tired of their boss, Kwankwaso.

He said, “The attack was a misunderstanding between the Kwankwasiyya members, who accused Kwankwaso of betraying their trust by after them for his personal gains.”

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BREAKING: Court Orders Forfeiture Of Saraki’s Houses In Ikoyi

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A federal high court sitting in Lagos has ordered the temporary forfeiture of two properties of Bukola Saraki, former senate president, in the Ikoyi area of Lagos state.

Nnaemeka Omewa, a counsel of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC), had approached the court, seeking an order of interim forfeiture of the properties located at 17A McDonald Road, Ikoyi, Eti Osa local government area of Lagos.

He had told the court that they were acquired through “proceeds of unlawful activities”.

Part of the reliefs sought by the EFCC included “An order of this honourable Court forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria landed property with appurtenances situate, lying and known as No. 17A McDonald Road, Ikoyi, Eti Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State found and recovered from the respondent which property is reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activity”.

The commission alleged that while serving as governor of Kwara state, Saraki withdrew over N12 billion cash from the account of the Kwara government and paid the same into his accounts domiciled in Access and Zenith Banks through one of his personal assistant, Abdul Adama.

Delivering ruling on the application, Mohammed Liman, the presiding judge, ordered interim forfeiture of the two properties.

He also instructed that the EFCC should publish the order in a national newspaper within 14 days, for anyone with interest in the properties to show cause, why they should not be finally forfeited to the federal government.

The federal government had arraigned Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) while he was the nation’s number three citizen.

He was accused of failing to declare his assets, an allegation he denied, alleging that he was being witch-hunted.

The supreme court subsequently dismissed the false assets declaration trial.

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