Shareholders Commend Union Bank's Return To Profitability

By The Rainbow

Shareholders of Union Bank of Nigeria PLC have approved the banks audited accounts for the year ended December 31, 2012, amidst optimism that the new board of Directors and management will work hard to transform the bank to enviable standards.

At the 44th Annual General Meeting of the bank held at the lakeside Hotel, Tinapa Business Resort, Calabar, Cross River State, the shareholders unanimously commended the bank's return to profitability after loss posted in the previous year.

Shareholders had specifically commended the Central Bank of Nigeria- appointed Management for stabilizing the bank just as they lauded the Union Global Partners Limited, the core investors for their timely recapitalization of the bank which salvaged their investment.

The Chairman of the Bank, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma assured the shareholders that the board and management had evolved a transformation programme that will tackle all the issues militating against the bank. He also noted all the comments and observations of the shareholders and promised to address their concerns.

'We have come up with initiatives that are necessary to improve service delivery, support planned business growth, improve productivity, create a lean and agile bank reduce operating cost and ultimately deliver value to all stakeholders,' he assured.

In approving the results, Shareholders were delighted with the performance of the bank within the period under review, stressing that management and staff should work harder to improve on this.

The results for the year 2012 revealed that Gross Earnings for the Bank totaled N96.5 billion, up 35 percent from year-end 2011 while Gross Earnings for the Group rose 33 percent to N112.8 billion.

Profit Before Tax for the Bank was N8.1 billion, up from a loss of N102.6 billion the previous year. The Group recorded Profit Before Tax of N9.1 billion compared to Loss Before Tax of N107.7 billion in 2011.

Profit After Tax for the Bank was N7.9 billion as against a loss of N76.7 billion in 2011, while Profit After Tax for the Group was N7.4 billion compared to a loss of N82.6 billion in the previous year.

Earnings Per Share also improved, with the Bank recording 46 kobo in 2012 compared to negative N12.51 kobo in 2011, and the Group recording 61 kobo as against negative N12.26 kobo the year before.

Customers' deposits with the Bank stood at N482 billion at 2012 year-end, a 21 percent increase from 2011 year-end figures.

Shareholders' Funds at year-end stood at N171.671 billion. The Bank's Total Assets grew 7.2 percent to N886.468 billion while Group Total Assets stood at N1.033 trillion.

Operating expenses improved for both the Bank and the Group, with the Bank recording N66.2 billion in expenses as against N73.2 billion in the previous year, and the Group recording N77.0 billion compared to N90 billion in 2011. As at December 31, 2012, the Bank's capital adequacy, at 20%, was above the 15% regulatory requirement for international banks, while liquidity ratio was 96 percent, also above the 30% regulatory requirement.

The Board of Directors had earlier paid a visited to the Cross River state Governor Senator Liyel Imoke , where the Deputy Governor,  barrister Efiok Cobham  stood in for him and received the directors.

The Chairman had espoused that Union bank would be synonymous with reliability. 'Our goal is to be a reliable institution, one which delivers the best service possible to its customers and consistently creates value for all its stakeholders', he emphasized.

Deputy Governor eulogized the Union Bank for its resilience and transformation after the challenging times of the banking reforms.  He pledged the government willingness to partner with the bank for its developmental requirements especially in the area of Agriculture, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SME) and employment generation.