This time last year, shareholders of United Bank for Africa Plc wore gloomy faces because they did not receive dividend for the 2011 financial year. They had to contend with an unprecedented N6.8 billion loss recorded for that year.
However, the story was different last week when the shareholders of the bank met in Abuja to consider the 2012 financial year performance of the bank. They were all smiles and commended the management for the rebound in the fortunes of the bank.
UBA did not only bounce back from the N6.8 billion loss it suffered in 2011 by making a profit of N54 billion, it declared a dividend of 50 kobo per share. For this performance, the shareholders commended the management.
The bank had slipped into the red in 2011 due to one-off provisioning against earnings, including those arising from the transfer of loans to the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON).
The management of the bank had assured the shareholders that there would not be a similar write-off in 2012, asserting that its group’s balance sheet and capital are in a robust position to provide a solid foundation for its future growth path.
This optimism became real when the bank declared a profit after tax of N52 billion in 2012. Gross earnings stood at N220.1 billion, showing a growth of 34.4 per cent above the N163.7 billion posted in 2011. Total assets stood at N2.273 trillion compared with N1.920 trillion in 2011, while shareholders’ funds stood at N192.47 billion as against N150.94 billion in 2011.
To prove that the 2012 performance was not a fluke, UBA consolidated its recovery with an impressive performance for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013. It recorded gross earnings of N62.7 billion in Q1 of 2013, compared with N52.4 billion in the corresponding period of 2012. Profit after tax stood at N15.6 billion, up from 13.1 billion in the corresponding period of 2012.
Explaining the 2012 performance, the Group Managing Director of UBA Plc, Mr Phillips Uduoza, said: “Our success was again driven by the strength of our customer-focused, corporate and treasury driven business model. We are confident about our ability to deliver sustainable earnings growth in the future. We will continue to strategically invest in our businesses, manage our expenses and contain cost, whilst continually seeking ways to exceed expectations of our stakeholders.”
According to him, as always the employees and their dedication to customers and clients remain the driving force behind the success, thanking them for their tremendous contributions.
“The bank had a good performance for full year 2012, putting us in a position to commence the journey back to industry leadership and setting the stage for the attainment of our long term strategic intent of being a leading bank on the African continent,” he added.
Also, the bank’s Group Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Ugochukwu Nwaghodoh, said the bank had continued to focus on customer service delivery, efficient capital management and returns maximisation with return on equity exceeding 30 per cent in 2012, one of the highest in the industry.
“Our ability to serve clients globally with solutions tailored to their needs gives us a strong advantage in today’s rapidly changing and highly competitive market place. Adopting a unique business platform across Africa as a group has also ensured that we present a single face to our customers and clients around Africa. This does not only help foster collaboration throughout the group, it also strengthens our ability to deliver value adding and innovative solutions to our customers and clients through our integrated model,” Nwaghodoh said.
The improved financial performance of the UBA and its bright future prospects have continued to attract high demand for its shares which have in turn impacted the equity positively. The equity of UBA has not only outperformed the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index but most of its peers. The shares have recorded a growth of 98 per cent as at Monday while the ASI returned only 41 per cent.