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By NBF News
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By Peter Egwuatu
United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has recorded a growth of 30 per cent in its balance sheet size from N2.27trilion in December 2010 to N2.94 trillion in September 2011.

Leveraging on its size and solid brand positioning, the bank's deposit base for the period grew by 18.3 per cent from N1.27 trillion in December 2010 to N1.5 trillion in 2011, reflecting a significant growth in market share and customer patronage.

The Group also recorded an expansion in credit, as loans and advances rose from N674 billion to N739 billion in support of the economy. Whilst gross earnings moved from N136 billion in September 2010 to N133 billion in 2011, profit after tax grew by 52 per cent from N6.6bn to N10.1 billion.

In a similar vein, UBA's operations outside Nigeria continued to record strong growth in earnings, deposits and loans, leading to an increase in their contribution to the group.

Deposit base outside Nigeria stood at N258billion, up by 16.7 per cent from N221billion in December 2010; Loans expanded by 29 per cent to N117 billion from N91 billion in December 2010; while gross earnings rose to N25 billion compared to N19 billion in the corresponding period of 2010.

In line with the bank's strategy, deposits, loans and gross earnings outside Nigeria accounted for 17 per cent, 16.6 peer cent and 20 per cent of group performance respectively, compared to 17 per cent, 15 per cent and 12 per cent in the corresponding period of 2010.

Commenting on the results, the Group Managing Director/ CEO of UBA, Mr. Phillips Oduoza said; 'Our financial performance for the September 2011 period attests to the Group's resilience, especially as we continue to consolidate our operations in other African countries. In spite of challenges in the operating environment, we reported impressive performance across the major income lines.

Fee-based incomes (non-interest incomes) grew during the period, riding on the back of improved transaction incomes and gains of the bank's strategic positioning in Africa, as well as its large retail network in Nigeria. Our remittance products: Africash, Afritrade and AfriCard; designed to enable us tap into trade and Diaspora flows across Africa have been well received and are doing well in the market place.

Overall, the outlook remains positive for us'.  Also commenting on the results, the bank's Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Ugochukwu Nwaghodoh said 'Operating income of N99.6 billion was recorded for the period, indicative of the strength of the bank's underlying business.

Whilst we extended our operations to new countries in Africa with attendant high pre-operation costs, there have been marked improvements in the contribution from Africa. Some of our ratios attest to the fact that UBA continues to maintain a solid financial position with a robust Capital Adequacy Ratio of 20 per cent and a Liquidity Ratio of 42 per cent.