United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc posted a growth of 35 per cent in its unaudited first quarter results ended March 31, 2015.
The results released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed a profit after tax (PAT) up by 35 per cent to N17 billion from N12.6 billion in the corresponding period.
The bank witnessed a significant 22 per cent growth in gross earnings to N83.1 billion by March 2015, from a comparative figure of N68.1 billion made in the first three months of the 2014 financial year.
The group managing director and chief executive officer of the bank, Phillips Oduoza, expressed his satisfaction at the bank’s great start to the year despite the uncertainties that characterised the Nigerian economy during the first quarter of 2015.
“We witnessed what can best be described as a quantum leap in our profit and balance sheet drivers. Besides the significant growth in profits, I am also impressed by the 6 per cent quarter-to-date growth in deposits and the low 1.6 per cent non-performing loans ratio – which reflects our prudence. It shows our focus on both profit drivers and risks within our operating environment,” Oduoza said.
Speaking on the operations of its African businesses, Oduoza said that they contributed over one-fifth of the group’s earnings in the first quarter. He expressed optimism of a more positive outlook as the bank’s Pan-African operations increasingly gain critical mass across African markets.
According to him, the significant growth in profit-after-tax means that the bank’s earnings per share at the end of the 2015 financial year was forecast to rise by 35 per cent to N2.06 from N1.53, if the first quarter growth rate is sustained, while Return On Equity (ROE) is expected to rise to 24.8 per cent from 22.1 per cent within the same period, showing significant improvement in returns to shareholders.
UBA group chief financial officer, Ugo Nwaghodoh, said the bank tapped into efficiency gains in its operations to boost profitability.
He said the bank had seen significant improvement in interest and non-interest incomes across all business lines as well as an improvement on average yields on assets.