United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc said its Profit Before Tax (PBT) in the first three months of the 2021 financial year, rose to N40.6 billion compared with N32.7 billion recorded in the first quarter of 2020.
In its unaudited results for the first quarter ended March 31st, 2021, showing impressive double-digit growth across most of its major income lines, the bank said it leveraged on modest growth in both interest and non-interest income as well as increased efficiency to deliver an impressive 24per cent year-on-year growth.
Profit After Tax also grew by 26.8per cent from N30.1 billion in March 2020 to N38.2 billion in the period under review.
Interestingly, UBA again sustained its strong profitability recording an annualised 20.5per cent Return on Average Equity (RoAE) compared to 19.9per cent in the same period of 2020.
Driven by a year-on-year growth in interest income, UBA Group recorded another impressive 5.5 per cent percent year-on-year growth in Gross Earnings to close at N155.4 billion for the three month period ending March 2021, compared to N147.2 billion recorded in the first three months of last year 2020.
The bank’s total assets also rose by 2.5per cent to N7.9 trillion in the period under review, compared to N7.7 trillion recorded at the end of the 2020 financial year whilst shareholders’ funds grew to N762.4 billion up by 5.3per cent from N724.1 billion as at Full Year 2020.
The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of UBA, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, expressed satisfaction with the Bank’s performance in the first quarter of 2021, stating that the result reflects UBA’s capacity to sustainably grow earnings even in a highly uncertain macroeconomic environment.
He added that the robust capital and liquidity positions have positioned the bank as it continues to support its customers across diverse sectors and markets, guided by prudent risk management practices.
“This impressive 2021 first quarter results reflect the capacity of our business to sustainably grow earnings even in a highly uncertain macroeconomic environment. We remain upbeat on the macroeconomic outlook of the countries in which we operate, especially as the COVID-19 vaccine distribution gains traction globally, whilst commodity prices and currencies continue to stabilise.
“Our robust capital and liquidity positions have positioned us to continue to support our customers across diverse sectors and markets, guided by prudent risk management practices,” he said.
Uzoka pointed out the bank’s effort towards diligently executing its priorities for the year 2021, as it leverages people, process, and technology to deliver the best customer experience across all its channels and touch points, achieving industry leadership and dominance.
He said, “The bank is making strong progress in Nigeria where our continuous market share and efficiency gains are translating into higher profits. We are committed to sustaining this strong start throughout the year, leveraging our customer-First (C-1st) philosophy and unparalleled execution to deliver even stronger returns to our esteemed shareholders in 2021 and beyond.
Further breaking down the figures, UBA’s Group Chief Finance Officer, Ugo Nwaghodoh, said, “I am particularly pleased with our annualised return on average equity of 20.5per cent and return on average asset of 2.0per cent, as these indices buttress our commitment to delivering sustainable value to our stakeholders.
“We continued to deploy our balance sheet efficiency and digital-led cost optimisation initiatives to achieve desired outcomes. Cost-to-income ratio improved by 200bps to 60.4per cent during the period, whilst cost of funds settled at 2.0per cent, a 130bps reduction from 3.3per cent in 2020 first quarter,” he said.
Nwaghodoh expressed confidence that the bank will meet and surpass its target for the remaining three quarters of the year, adding that,
“We are confident on the strong prospect for earnings growth, particularly as we are better positioned to consolidate recent market share gains in Nigeria and other geographies where we operate. This result is a strong start for the year, and we are optimistic about sustaining the exciting performance throughout the year and beyond,” he added.