By Taofik Salako, Capital Market Editor
United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc increased dividend payout to shareholders as the pan-African financial group achieved record earnings and balance sheet in 2019. Gross earnings crossed the milestone of N500 billion while total assets crossed N5 trillion for the first time.
The board of the bank has recommended increase in dividend payout to N34.2 billion, implying a total dividend per share of N1 for the 2019 business year as against 85 kobo paid for the 2018 business year. The bank will be paying a final dividend of 80 kobo per share in addition to an interim dividend of 20 kobo per share paid earlier in 2019.
Key extracts of the audited report and accounts for the year ended December 31, 2019 released at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) at the weekend indicated that gross earnings grew by 13.3 per cent to N559.8 billion in 2019 compared with N494.0 billion recorded in 2018. Total assets also grew significantly by 15.1 per cent to an unprecedented N5.6 trillion in 2019. This is the first time the bank’s gross earnings and assets will cross the N500 billion and N5 trillion marks.
Read Also: UBA posts N89.1bn profit after tax in 2019
Profit before tax rose from N106.8 billion to N111.3 billion. Profit after tax grew by 13.3 per cent to N89.1 billion in 2019 compared with N78.6 billion in 2018. On the cost side, operating expenses grew by 10.1 per cent to N217.2 billion in 2019 as against N197.3 billion in 2018, well below average inflation rate within the period, a reflection of cost efficiency gains.
The results further reflected the bank’s deepening of its pan-African business strategy, given the growth in the contribution of its 19 African subsidiaries to the group’s net earnings and total assets.
Ex-Nigeria’s operations contributed 46 per cent to the group’s pre-tax profit in the year under review. UBA has been deploying innovative lifestyle products to expand its market share across Sub-Saharan Africa, leveraging its presence in the United Kingdom, United States of America and France, to build its Africa’s Global Bank franchise, facilitating trade and capital flows between Africa and the rest of the world.
The balance sheet indicated that UBA recorded 20.2 per cent growth in loans to customers to N2.1 trillion while customer deposits increased by 14.4 per cent to N3.8 trillion compared with N3.3 trillion in 2018.
UBA Mananging Director Mr. Kennedy Uzoka said the last year was important for UBA Group, as it gained further market share in most of its countries of operation.
He noted that the improvement in the balance sheet reflected increased customer confidence, enhanced customer experience, early wins from the ongoing business transformation programme and the deepening of the bank’s retail banking franchise.
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