UBA declares N18.4bn profit for Q1

United Bank for Africa Plc has released its unaudited first quarter results for the 2015, indicating significant growth in its earnings and profits.

The results showed that in the three months ended March 31, 2015 the bank made a profit before tax of N18.4bn, which is 36 per cent higher than the N13.5bn pre-tax profit it declared for the corresponding period of 2014.

Its profit after tax rose by 35 per cent year-on-year from N12.6bn in first quarter of 2014 to N17bn in the review period.

The profit growth followed a 22 per cent rise in UBA’s gross earnings. The results showed that the bank’s gross earnings rose from the N68.1bn it made in the first quarter of 2014 to N83.1bn in the three months under review.

The Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, UBA, Mr. Phillips Oduoza, explained that the performance was satisfactory and represented a great start to the year for the bank, despite the uncertainties about the Nigerian economy during the quarter.

A statement from the bank on Wednesday quoted him as saying, “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 six per cent quarter-to-date growth in deposits and the low 1.6 per cent Non-Performing Loan ratio, which reflects our prudence. It shows our focus on both profit drivers and risks within our operating environment.”

He said that the operations of UBA’s African businesses contributed over one-fifth of the group’s earnings in the first quarter and expressed optimism about a more positive outlook as the bank’s pan-African operations increasingly gain critical mass across the African markets.

“We remain focused on cross selling initiatives and niche market play, as we remain committed to building a leading pan-African financial services franchise and delivering superior value to our shareholders,” he said.

According to the statement, the significant growth in profit after tax means that the bank’s earnings per share at the end of the 2015 financial year is 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 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.

Also, the Group Chief Financial Officer, UBA, Ugo Nwaghodoh, was quoted as saying that the bank tapped into efficiency gains in its operations to boost profitability.

“We hope to sustain this impressive quarterly performance through the year especially with the recent upgrade of our core banking application which will drive operational efficiencies across the group,” Nwaghodoh said.

UBA recently completed an upgrade of its core banking application, including its online banking platform which will lead to more stability, greater security and better user experience as well as improved process, faster turnaround time and robust customer relationship management.

It is one of Africa’s leading financial institutions, offering banking services to more than eight million customers across 605 Businesses Offices in 19 African countries and three global financial centres.

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