By Dayo Adesulu
In its Half-Year unaudited financial statement submitted to the Nigeria Exchange Group Limited, retail lender Unity Bank Plc reported a growth in deposits to N333.38 billion, or 2% more than the N327.42 billion recorded in H1’22.
The lender’s dedication to expanding its retail presence through a well-diversified banking product suite that serves various segments of the retail market is seen in the growth in deposits.
Gross income and total assets, which were recorded at N27.5 billion as opposed to N27.4 billion and N512.1 billion from N510.1 billion correspondingly within the period under review, are two other highlights of the unaudited financial statement.
The net loans portfolio reduced significantly by 31% to N198.6Billion as at 30 June 2023 from N289.4Billion as at 31st December 2022. The Bank’s NPL Ratio remained moderate at below 3% while liquidity ratio stood strong at over 45%.
However, the Bank’s profit for the period was impacted by foreign exchange revaluation on the back of Nigeria’s recent FX liberalization policy, resulting in a slide in our position.
Notwithstanding, the retail lender grew its FX trading income significantly by 17% to N239.8 million from N204.4 million in the corresponding period of 2022, underscoring the Bank’s strategic focus on diversifying and growing its earnings portfolio.
Similarly, fees and income commission also witnessed a 10% growth to N3.5 billion from N3.2 billion compared to the corresponding period of 2022, on the strength of the growing popularity of its digital banking platforms and customers’ acquisition in the retail space.
Commenting on the financial statements, the Managing Director/CEO of Unity Bank Plc, Mrs. Tomi Somefun noted that the significant disruptions which characterized the operating environment has impacted the positions of the Bank to the extent that we have constraints in income generation on the back of revaluation of the bank’s net foreign liabilities occasioned by the Naira devaluation during the period.
Mrs. Tomi stated: “In the light of the prevailing FX revaluation in the financial system, what we have is a market-driven impact which is adjustable envisaged from the positive economic outcomes of the government policies in the near term.
Be that as it may, the negative shareholders’ fund has improved considerably through the injection of N135billion which moderated the negative shareholders’ fund from (-ve) N275Billion in December 2022 financial year-end to (-ve) N178Billion as at the end of June 2023, after absorbing the FX revaluation loss suffered in Q2/2023.
We are however, focused with clear-cut plans to close out on our recapitalization programme very soon to enable us do business as expected in the fast-growing markets in Nigeria”
She further stated that while we remain optimistic that the government’s policy initiatives will lead to cause correction in the market, the Bank has accelerated measures to ramp up asset creation and liability generation in the short and medium term.
The Bank is aggressively driving its retail growth in every segment of the market, expanding strategic partnerships; and growing commercial banking business to develop new and sustainable income lines for the Bank as well as pay sufficient attention to fast-paced process automation, cost and resource efficiency, targeted value chain relationships, and product marketing to enhance value creation in the market.
Analysts are of the view that notwithstanding the market shocks currently being experienced, the Bank is still on course given the resilience it has demonstrated over time.