The United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) says it recorded a profit before tax of N106.8 billion in the 2018 financial year.
In a statement on Sunday, the bank said the amount represented a 2.4 percent growth year on year and could be attributed to gains in its market share across the continent.
The bank’s financials filed at the Nigerian Stock Exchange revealed that gross earnings grew by 7% to N494.0 billion, compared to N461.6 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017.
The bank’s total assets also grew significantly by 19.7 percent to an “unprecedented” N4.9 trillion for the year under review.
“Despite the challenging business environments in Nigeria and across key markets in Africa, the Bank’s Profit Before Tax was quite impressive at N106.8 billion, a 2.4 percent growth, compared to N104.2 billion in 2017 financial year,” the statement read.
“In same vein, the Profit After Tax rose by 1.4 percent to N78.6 billion, compared to N77.5 billion recorded in 2017.
“Due to lower foreign exchange trading income, Operating Expenses grew by 4.1 percent to N197.3 billion, compared to N189.7 billion in 2017.”
Commenting on the result, Kennedy Uzoka, group managing director, UBA, said the 2018 financial results were “exciting” despite uncertainties in the African economy.
He said the growth in market share across 20 African countries and the start of its wholesale banking operations in London, UK, would help “deepen trade and capital flows between Europe and Africa.”
“Defying the relatively weak economic growth in Africa, earnings were positive and we grew our balance sheet by 20 percent, driven by the 23 percent growth in our deposit funding,” he said.
“In a period of economic uncertainty, we have focused on retail deposit mobilization, with exciting results.
“Our operations in the United Kingdom now offer end-to-end trade, treasury, structured finance, wholesale deposit taking and ancillary services. With this development, we are better positioned to fulfill our aspiration of deepening trade and capital flows between Europe and Africa.
“We are also pleased with the market acceptance of our new operation in Mali.
“I am excited by the profitability of our ex-Nigeria subsidiaries, which now contributes an impressive 40 percent earnings to the Group.
“At the moment, our Nigerian business is benefiting from our product and operational focus, gaining market share – most importantly, the increasing penetration of our retail offerings is reassuring, as this fundamental progress aligns with our strategy of focusing on sustainable growth.
“With great optimism, we look forward to a more rewarding 2019 for our shareholders, as we further sweat our resources and optimize productivity towards delivering superior returns.”