By Osaze Omoragbon

The much delayed half year financial report of UBA has been released. United Bank for Africa Plc announced its audited financial results for the half-year ended June 30, 2020, showing a drop in profitability even with the increased contribution from its African subsidiaries. TheEconomyng.com had earlier reported that the big banks including UBA were delaying the release of their financial report which they often do with fanfare in the pre-pandemic era even as analysts say there isn’t much to celebrate.

The bank said in a statement that notwithstanding the challenging business and economic environment occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was able to deliver growth in its gross earnings, which rose to N300.6bn from N294bn in the same period of 2019. Despite operating income growing by 7.7 per cent to N197.1bn from N182.9bn, profit before tax fell to N57.1bn from N70.3bn in 2019, yielding a 14.4 per cent annualised return on average equity.

According to its results filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange, it recorded N2.2tn in net loans to customers, representing a 6.1 per cent growth even as deposits from customers increased by 25.2 per cent to N4.8tn.

Net interest income grew by 8.4 per cent to N119.3bn, while net fee and commission income stood at N38.6bn, representing a 7.0 per cent increase compared to the similar period in 2019.

As at June 30, 2020, the bank’s total assets surpassed the N6tn mark as it leaped to N6.8tn.

The bank’s shareholders’ funds remained strong at N634.7bn, up from N597.9bn in December 2019, driven by growth in retained earnings.

The Board of Directors of UBA declared an interim dividend of N0.17 per share for every ordinary share of N0.50 each held by its shareholders.

Commenting on the results, UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr Kennedy Uzoka, said “Our 2020H1 result is yet another demonstration of the resilience of our business model in an extremely uncertain and tough operating environment. “We recorded commendable growth in our underlying business in terms of customer acquisition, transaction volumes and balance sheet whilst inflation, depressed yield environment and exchange rate volatilities impacted our net earnings as anticipated.”

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