United Capital achieves 44% profit growth

United Capital Plc on Wednesday announced a 44 per cent growth in profit before tax for the first quarter of this year.

The investment banking and financial services firm grew its profit before tax from N620m in the first quarter of 2014 to N892m in the corresponding period of this year, its unaudited results for the period showed.

Also up were its gross earnings, which rose by 31 per cent when compared to the same period of 2014, while the profit after tax improved strongly over 2014 by 41 per cent to close at N707m, up from N503m and yielding a profit margin of 68 per cent.

The company said in a statement that the impressive performance was driven primarily by strong growth in its net interest margin, which the company successfully grew by 204 per cent as a result of improved pricing of funds under management, which increased by 13 per cent to N76bn.

In addition to this, it said its investment income jumped by 72 per cent to N616m.

The Chief Executive Officer, United Capital, Oluwatoyin Sanni, was quoted as saying, “It is a pleasure to announce these results for the first quarter of the year. They are a reflection of the Group’s continued focus on the delivery of superior services to our clients, deploying excellent personnel and platforms.

“As we continue to build on this foundation, we fully expect this positive trend in performance to be sustained throughout the year.”

During the period under review, United Capital had successfully closed key capital market transactions that boosted its fees and commission income, which accounted for 27 per cent of its gross earnings.

According to the statement, in line with its commitment to deliver competitive returns to its shareholders, United Capital has consistently improved performance across all its strategic business units.

For instance, it noted that, “The Group’s investment banking business is well positioned to take advantage of opportunities in the key sectors of the economy as a result of its constant investment in people and relationship building.”

It added that United Capital’s Trustees was a leading player in its segment, stressing that the group would continue to improve capabilities within this business in order to maintain its dominant position and create sustainable value.

Meanwhile, the stock market closed on a negative note on Wednesday with the market capitalisation and the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index shedding 0.21 per cent to close at N11.915tn and 34,965.88 basis points, respectively.

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