NIGERIA: UBA Maintains Steady Loan Growth

 United Bank for Africa Plc’s (UBA) audited 2013 full year results has shown the bank has maintained an incremental loan growth in the last four years.

The bank’s five-year financial summary reflected a steady, but gradual increase in its loan book. It showed that its loans and advances to customers climbed by 58 per cent in the past four years, to N937.620 billion in 2013, as against the N590.797 billion recorded in 2010.

The bank has continued to increase loans to consumer, upstream oil and gas, manufacturing and the telecoms sectors. In fact, this made up 70 per cent of its loan books in 2013.

Similarly, its customer deposit has climbed steadily in the last five years by 61 per cent, as it stood at N2.161 trillion in 2013, compared to the N1.245 trillion recorded in 2009.

According to Afrinvest Securities, “UBA remains a strong corporate force in the industry as evidenced in its 2013 results despite beckoning tight regulatory environment.

“We maintain our N279.4 billion and N49.4 billion 2014 estimates for gross earnings and profit after tax representing 5.6 per cent and six per cent growth respectively.

“Based on relative valuation, UBA currently trades at a marginal discount to its peers with a trailing P/E and P/BV multiple of 5.0x and 1.0x, compared to industry average of 6.7x and 1.1x respectively,” Afrinvest added.

However, UBA’s 2013 results showed that its gross earnings was up by 20.2 per cent year-on-year to N264.6 billion in the year under review, from N220.1 billion in 2012, the bank’s profit after tax was down by 14.9 per cent year-on-year to N46.4 billion from N54.8 billion in 2012.

The growth in gross earnings was achieved on the back of a 23.8 per cent year-on-year growth in interest income in 2013.

UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Phillips Oduoza said the 2013 results was largely driven by the surge in deposits.
Oduoza said the bank has slowed down its aggressive expansion across the continent as it consolidates its operations in 19 different countries and meets commitments to fund large power projects in Nigeria.

"We were expanding very rapidly and we initially thought we would expand further in Africa, but we've decided to stop and focus on consolidation," Oduoza said, adding that this was also why a proposed $500 million Eurobond was shelved.

He had added: "We have 700 branches. That's a very large network. We've covered the major economies in sub-Saharan Africa.”

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