Amidst inflationary pressures and uncertainties undermining the business environment in Nigeria and a few other countries in Africa, UBA’s operating expenses increased by 2.3 percent to N149.1 billion, compared to N145 billion recorded in the same period of last year. Overall, the Bank posted a Profit Before Tax of N79.1 billion whilst Profit After Tax stood at N61.7 billion. This profit performance puts the Bank’s annualized return on average equity at 16 and 20 per cents at pre-tax and post-tax profit level respectively.
The bank’s Total Assets stood at N4.51 trillion, a 10.8 per cent year-to-date rise over the N4.07 trillion total asset recorded as at December 2017, while customers’ deposit was up by 16.2 percent year-to-date growth growing to N3.18trillion, compared to N2.73 trillion as at December 2017. The shareholders’ fund remained strong at N509.3 billion, even as the implementation of International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 9, moderated the Group’s equity by 3.8 per cent year-to-date.
Commenting on the result, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive of UBA Plc, Kennedy Uzoka, said “We achieved a number of strategic imperatives during the quarter and committed more investments in the future of the business – building a solid foundation for sustainable and superior return to our shareholders”
Uzoka said he is pleased that the Bank’s Virtual Banking Chatbot, Leo, which debuted on Facebook earlier in the year, was successfully launched on WhatsApp during the quarter. “This new channel offering, which enables our customers to fulfil their banking transactions through simple chat commands, is another premier initiative in our suite. The early pay-offs are quite compelling – recent customer acquisitions and broader transaction volume growth are exciting leading indicators that reinforce our confidence in these novel channels.
“Our franchise is increasingly renowned for financial solution and I am happy with the consistent growth in our businesses across the continent. We have grown balance sheet by 11 per cent year-to-date to over N4.5 trillion. Notwithstanding the statutory-induced cost growth, our earnings proved resilient, as we recorded nine-month profit before tax of N79 billion. Notwithstanding the macro-risk arising from upcoming elections in Nigeria, our single largest market, we are confident of finishing the year strong,” Uzoka stated.
Also speaking on UBA’s financial performance and position, the Group Chief Financial Officer, Ugo Nwaghodoh said that despite the relative volatility in the third quarter of 2018, especially in the face of U.S. interest rate hikes and concerns over global trade war, which has disrupted the interest and exchange rate environment in many African countries, the bank remains on track to deliver its earnings target for the year.
He said “We remain committed to our five-year plan of working down CIR to 50 per cent, which we consider to be a normalised medium-term CIR. Overall, we closed the third quarter with a post-tax RoAE of 16 per cent and the Group remains well capitalized and liquid, as reflected in the Group’s capital adequacy of 21 per cent and Bank’s liquidity ratio of 53 per cent.