BY DAYO ADESULU
United Bank for Africa Group (UBA) Plc has recorded double-digit improvement across all its major income lines in its first quarter ended March 31st, 2020.
In its 2020 first-quarter unaudited results published on Thursday, the bank said the PBT recorded represents an 8.5% year-on-year increase from the N30.2 billion reported in the first quarter of 2019.
The bank leveraged on modest growth in both interest and non-interest income and recorded 8.5 per cent year-on-year growth in Profit Before Tax in the first three months of 2020, to N32.7 billion, compared with N30.2 billion recorded in the first quarter of 2019. Again, UBA sustained its strong profitability recording an annualized 20 per cent Return on Average Equity (RoAE).
Driven by a year-on-year growth in interest income, UBA Group recorded an 11.8% per cent year-on-year growth in gross earnings to close at N147.2 billion for the three months period ending March 2020, compared to N131.7 billion recorded in the first three months of the year 2019.
The bank’s total assets also rose by 13.4% to N6.4 trillion in the period under review, compared to N5.6 trillion recorded at the end of the 2019 financial; while shareholders’ funds grew to N612.6bn from N597.9 billion in the same period.
The Group Managing Director/CEO of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, expressed satisfaction with the Bank’s performance in the first quarter of 2020, which according to him remains encouraging despite the challenging business environment.
He said, “We are pleased with our top and bottom lines in the first quarter of 2020, delivering N147.2 billion in gross earnings and profit before tax of N32.7billion. The double-digit growth in the topline testifies to the resilience of our business model as a group, even as the 17% growth in our fees and commission income underscores our diversified business model, enabling us to deliver best value to our stakeholders, even in tough macroeconomic scenarios.
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Continuing, the GMD said, “I am very excited about recent successes we have recorded in all our business segments, especially our retail and electronic banking businesses within the period, with retail deposits accounting for 72% of customer deposits even as cost-of-funds moderates to 3.3%. We will continue to grow market share in all our markets, whilst maintaining cost discipline across our businesses, driving efficiency in our processes using best-rated technology.
Speaking on customers’ growing concerns on banking services during the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, Uzoka explained that the bank has put in place various strategic channels to ensure that customers transactions are effectively carried out with ease.
He said, “In response to the spread of COVID-19 several national governments have announced a partial or total lockdown in a number of our markets, post-Q1 2020. Fortunately, we have built robust electronic channel platforms to enable us effectively serve our customers from the convenience of their homes. Despite the lockdown, our banking channels have remained open to our customers 24/7, even as we continue to align and adapt our operating model to ensure we service our customers excellently and safely.”