…Restates Commitment to Sustain Bank’s Growth
The United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc Group Chairman, Tony Elumelu has said despite unprecedented challenges, the Group displayed an extraordinary ability to adapt, through innovation and resilience, delivering exceptional performance across its key financial metrics.
Presenting in the huge strides and milestones at the 60th Annual General Meeting, Elumelu said the financial institution was able to further drive down the ratio of its Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) portfolio to a record low of 3.6 per cent from 4.7 per cent in 2020.
He said despite the economic headwinds during the review year, the company achieved double-digit growth of 12.2 per cent or N6.4 trillion in customer deposits and 11 per cent or N8.5 trillion in total assets.
He said significant improvement was also recorded in the Group’s earning capacity as gross earnings grew seven per cent to N660.2 billion.
Elumelu also said the year was a satisfying one for the group with strong performance posted across key financial metrics.
Elumelu said group profitability grew by 20.3 per cent to stamp its dominance in the financial services space.
He further stated that, “2021 demonstrated human resilience and innovativeness in the face of unprecedented challenges. Against a backdrop of a world economy that continued to be challenged by COVID-19, we saw extraordinary human responses – not least in Africa, where policymakers, the private sector, and our African academics and scientists showed that adversity can also create opportunity.
“UBA epitomised this spirit of tenacity, responsiveness and ingenuity as illustrated by our exceptional performance during the year.”
Elemelu also assured shareholders and investors of its unwavering commitment to sustain its current growth trajectory even as its efforts at business diversification across Africa and beyond continued to yield increasing returns.
Addressing shareholders, he stressed that bank’s strategic investment decisions over the past few years had indeed translated to huge returns for its investors, despite the challenging business environment witnessed in the last two years.
Elumelu said, “I am proud of how as a Group, we have been able to further consolidate on the new capabilities we have built, novel customer solutions we have deployed, efficiency gains recorded and the growth prospects we have leveraged from a recovering world.
“These were the building blocks for the very strong financial performance and the growth delivered by your Group in 2021, further confirming the wisdom of the investments we made and the strategy we have pursued, to ensure the diversification and sustainability of our business model.”
While expressing his delight to shareholders and customers who have stood with UBA for almost eight decades, Elumelu remained confident of the bank’s capacity to sustain this momentum especially as economic activities recover from the impact of the COVID -19 pandemic.
Overall profitability grew by 20.3% and we increased our shareholders’ dividend by 12.5%, a first in our peer group – and another demonstration of our commitment to our shareholders.
UBA was Africa’s Bank of the Year at the Banker Magazine Award published by the Financial Times of London, recognising our financial performance, commitment to excellence in service delivery and the Group’s unflagging role in creating economic growth across Africa.
We also won Bank of the Year in 12 African countries, breaking the record for the most awards won in the most countries, by a single banking group, in one year! Quite an achievement!
The chairman said, “Our goal is to continue to build strong brand loyalty with our customers and create additional value for our shareholders, whose underlying support has positioned UBA for continued growth.”
Also, UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, said “We are happy that the global community recognises the role our Group is playing in the transformation of the African economic landscape through innovative and customer focused banking services.”
He pointed out that the bank’s business in the United Kingdom had specifically witnessed remarkable expansion, adding, “As from July 2021, UBA UK started making profit, and even to date, they are still doing well, and the same can be said for many of our African subsidiaries. The truth is that we are driven by the opportunities and potential in each of the geographies that we invested in, and we are happy with what we have achieved so far.”
Shareholders were unanimous in their commendation of the board and management for the impressive financials which had translated to higher dividends for shareholders.
Commenting on behalf of other shareholders, Alhaji Farouk Umar, said, “Despite the economic situation UBA has been able to grow profitability and increase its customer base. If you compare the dividend with the share price of UBA, you will see that our dividend yield is very high. No bank in Nigeria has been able to achieve this, and I therefore commend the UBA board.”
Essentially, the bank’s profit before tax (PAT) witnessed a 20.3 per cent growth to N153.1 billion, compared to N127.3 billion in 2020 financial year while Profit After Tax (PAT) rose grew by 8.7 percent to N118.7 billion in 2021 compared to N109.2 billion recorded the previous year.
As a result, the bank proposed a final dividend of 80 kobo for every ordinary share of 50 kobo for the financial year ended December 31, 2021, bringing the total dividend for the year to N1.00 as the financial institution had earlier paid an interim dividend of 20 Kobo.