Africa’s global bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc., delivered an outstanding performance for the half year ended June 30, 2023, as announced in its audited financial report.
The results released to the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) on Tuesday showed that the group recorded double and triple-digit growth across its major income lines as it continued to show substantial progress in increasing the contribution and market share from its subsidiaries in Africa and globally.
Specifically, at the end of the first two quarters of the year, and despite the tough global macroeconomic backdrop and geo-political challenges in Africa, UBA Group reported a profit before tax of US$829.7million, representing an extraordinary increase of 371 percent when compared to US$204.5million recorded in the first half of 2022. This translated to an annualized Return on Average Equity of 57.7 percent as against 17.1 percent a year earlier.
In addition, the results also showed as of June 30, 2023, a profit after tax (PAT) of US$776.79million, representing a leap of 437.8 percent over H1 2022.
Operating Income grew by 206.6 percent to US$1.61billion in June 2023, higher than US$609.9million reported a year earlier.
The group delivered a 164 percent growth in its Gross Earnings which rose to US$2.02billion as at June 2023, up from US$888.2million recorded last year in June 2022.
Total Assets continued a strong upward trajectory, rising above the US$19.8bn mark as it hits US$20.3billion, representing a 41.7 percent leap up from US$14.4billion recorded at the end of last year.
Customer Deposits also rose by a sharp 42.4 percent to US$14.7billion in the period under consideration as against US$16.9billion recorded at the end of 2022.
Shareholders’ Funds increased to US$2.26billion, reflecting the group’s strong capacity for internal capital generation.
In line with the group’s culture of paying both interim and final cash dividends, the Board has approved an interim dividend of 0.07cents per share, which represents over 150 percent increase over the prior year.
UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Oliver Alawuba, commenting on the results, said the exceptional performance underscored the group’s commitment to consistently deliver value to its shareholders, adding that the group made progress in digital payments and retail penetration as well as benefitted from the effect of revaluation gains arising from the harmonisation of foreign exchange rates at the different access windows in Nigeria.
He said: “The group recorded strong double-digit growth in revenues and profits from its operations. The result also reflects the effect of sizeable revaluation gains arising from the harmonisation of currency exchange rates in Nigeria. Our reporting currency found a new exchange level at about N756 to US$1 as of 30 June 2023, compared to N465 at the beginning of the year. The results, again, demonstrate the benefits of our long-held diversification strategy across Africa and globally. The growth of our international business, most recently in the UAE, only reinforces this earnings quality”.
Continuing, he added: “Our business is on a steady growth trajectory as we further strengthen our risk management traditions and practices as well as necessary technology investments to deliver premium service to our customers. We have also continued to finance landmark projects in critical sectors of the economies across Africa, facilitating intra-Africa trade with our valuable offerings and provide a versatile last-mile distribution network for Africa-bound donor and multilateral agency funds”.
“The three core geographical pillars of our business (Nigeria, Rest of Africa and Rest of the World) are making strong contributions to the group’s profit, further justifying our global strategy and business positioning across Africa, UAE, France, UK and USA, and demonstrating the benefits of positioning UBA as the financial intermediary for Africa and the rest of the world.” Alawuba said.
On the plans for the rest of the year, Alawuba said: “As we approach the last quarter of the year, the group remains strategically positioned to sustain the strong performance, consolidating on H1 2023 results, to deliver superior returns to our esteemed shareholders”.
UBA’s Executive Director – Finance & Risk, Ugo Nwaghodoh, said the half year 2023 financial numbers reflect an excellent performance across key metrics as the bank diligently executes its strategic priorities.
“Our HY2023 financial numbers reflect excellent performance across key metrics as we diligently execute our priorities for the year. Annualised return on average equity at 57.7 percent was bolstered by improved operating income and revaluation gains.” he explained.
Nwaghodoh also pointed out that the group maintains robust capital buffers to support business growth and loss absorbency. The group’s shareholders’ funds stood at N1.7trillion, with a capital adequacy ratio of 36.4 percent.
UBA is a leading pan-African financial institution offering banking services to more than thirty-seven million customers across 1,000 business offices and customer touchpoints in 20 African countries. With presence in New York, London, Paris, and now the UAE, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross-border payments and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services.