United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc recorded a well-rounded performance in 2021 with considerable growths in earnings and balance sheet.
Key extracts of the audited results of UBA for the year ended December 31, 2021 showed appreciable growths across key financial metrics. Gross earnings rose to N660.2 billion in 2021, representing an increase of seven per cent on N616.8 billion recorded in 2020.
Despite the huge challenging business and slow economic recovery in most of its countries of operations, UBA’s profit before tax was impressive with a 20.3 per cent growth to N153.1 billion in 2021, compared with N127.3 billion in 2020. Profit after tax rose grew by 8.7 per cent to N118.7 billion in 2021 as against N109.2 billion recorded in the previous year.
Total assets grew by 11 per cent to an unprecedented N8.5 trillion in 2021, up from N7.7 trillion in 2020, thus marking the first time the bank’s assets will cross the N8 trillion mark. Similarly, net loans grew by 7.7 per cent to N2.8 trillion. Customer deposits rose by 12.2 per cent to N6.4 trillion in 2021 compared with N5.7 trillion in 2020, reflecting increased customer confidence, enhanced customer experience, successes from the ongoing business transformation programme and the deepening of its retail banking franchise. Further analysis showed that in 2021, the bank’s operating income rose by 10 per cent to N443 billion compared with N403 billion in the previous year, whereas operating expenses closed the period at N279 billion.
The board of directors of the bank has recommended a final dividend of 80 kobo per share, in addition to an interim dividend of 20 kobo earlier paid, bringing the total dividend payout to N1 per share.
Group Managing Director, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Kennedy Uzoka, said the results showed that notwithstanding the tight and challenging operating environment, UBA has continued to deliver significant performance.
He outlined that the quality of UBA’s portfolio as well as the strength of the bank’s credit risk management frameworks and policies remain the bedrock of the positive results that the bank has been recording over the years.
According to him, the current performance highlights UBA’s relentless customer focus, and leverage on its key strategic levers of people, process and technology.
He noted that 2021 could best be described as a year of global recovery; economies around the world began to witness early-stage recoveries, as supply chains recover from the devastating disruptions suffered in 2020.
“Looking forward, I am particularly excited about our ongoing enterprise transformation programme which is designed to enhance the bank’s process agility, service delivery and customer experience. We are also making sizeable investments in cutting-edge technology and cyber security, to keep our innovative digital banking offerings above the curve, as we tool and re-tool our human resources to compete and win in a rapidly changing and evolving landscape. This will ensure the bank continues to achieve respectable top and bottom-line growth through the medium to long term,” Uzoka said.
Group Chief Financial Official, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Ugo Nwaghodoh, said the bank has shown resilience by achieving sizeable growth and strengthened balance sheet despite the slow pace of economic recovery that characterised 2021.
He noted that through active and diligent assets and liabilities management, the bank was able to protect its net interest margin and achieved a downward moderation of Cost of funds (CoF) by 70 basis points to 2.2 per cent from 2.9 per cent in the previous year.
According to him, the bank’s capital adequacy ratio at 24.9 per cent was well above the required regulatory minimum and reflects a strong capacity for business growth.
“The Group’s non-performing loan ratio improved further to 3.6 per cent from 4.7 per cent at the end of 2020. This testifies to the quality of UBA’s loan portfolio even as the bank remains relentless in its resolve to drive down the Cost-to-Income ratio, which stood at 63.0 per cent at the end of the year,” Nwaghodoh said.
He added that the bank achieved further strides in growing its business and gaining market share across its pan-African operations, with the region accounting for 63.2 per cent of the group’s profitability, compared to 55.4 per cent in 2020; loans and advances as well as deposit in the region were also up 14.5 per cent and 27.3 per cent respectively.
“We recognise the changing competitive landscape and are proactively positioning to consistently deliver on our strategic objectives and commitment to shareholders,” Nwaghodoh said.