By BENEDICT TEMBO
Africa’s global bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc’s audited financial results for the year ended December 31, 2022 has shown impressive performance across major indices.
The 2022 financials, filed by the bank at Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGx) on Thursday, showed that gross earnings rose significantly from N 660.2 billion recorded at the end of the 2021 financial year, to N853.2billion, representing a strong 29.2 percent growth.
Total assets rose remarkably by 27.2 percent, crossing the N10trillion mark, to close at N10.9trillion in December last year; up from N8.5trillion in 2021.
Despite the highly challenging global economic and business environment, UBA recorded a laudable profit before tax, with a 31.2 percent growth, to close the year under review at N200.8 billion, rising from N153.01 billion recorded at the end of the 2021 financial year; while profit after tax (PAT) grew by 43.5 percent to N170.2billion in 2022, compared to N118.7 billion recorded the year before. Consequently, UBA Group Shareholders’ Funds rose to N922.1billion, as at December last year, achieving an impressive growth by 14.6 percent , compared to prior year.
In the year under consideration, the UBA Group cost-to-income ratio dropped to 59.2 percent , from over 60 percent in prior year, pointing at the Group’s improving efficiency.
Also worthy of note, UBA recorded a 21.4 percent growth in loans to customers, moving up to N3.4 trillion last year, whilst customer deposits improved by 22.9 percent to N7.8 trillion, compared to N6.4trillion recorded in the corresponding period of 2021, reflecting increased customer confidence, enhanced customer experience, successes from the ongoing business transformation programme and the deepening of its retail banking franchise.
Commenting on the result, the Group Managing CEO, Oliver Alawuba, said notwithstanding the tight and challenging operating environment, UBA continues to deliver significant performance.
He said, “The group delivered record headline earnings (+29.2 percent ) and profitability (+31.2 percent) amid significant headwinds in markets where we are present and a heightened global risk environment. Our record earnings, growth, and robust capital levels supported higher returns for the shareholders. The group is on course to achieve its strategic goals, and we are confident we will deliver our targets.
“We have navigated unprecedented macroeconomic headwinds and made significant gains in our diversification strategy and Customer 1st philosophy as we build resilience in our operations across Africa and the Rest of the World to support the mission of providing superior value to our stakeholders. The Group’s Profit after Tax increased by 43.5 percent to N170.3billion, with underlying growth in our key income lines and moderation in our cost of fund, resulting in robust growth of 14.6 percent in the group’s shareholders’ funds and stronger liquidity. We continued to sharpen our risk management structure and practices to align with evolving risks”, Alawuba said.
On the outlook for the year 2023, Alawuba said, “we are strategically positioned to increase our market share in our countries of presence, with expansion to Dubai, United Arab Emirates and strong growth of our digital banking and payment businesses, which is pivotal to the evolving cashless economy in Nigeria. We strive to deliver increasingly attractive returns to our shareholders and continued positive impact in the geographies and economies in which we operate.”
“UBA Group’s 2022FY performance was buoyed by strong balance sheet growth and improvement in Net interest margin, as Group’s Total Assets and customer deposits grew 27.2 percent and 22.9 percent respectively, whilst NIM grew to 5.61percent from 5.57 percent. The continuous rejigging of the Groups’ risk management approach resulted in moderation of the NPL ratio, from 3.6 percent to 3.1 percent. The Group continued to rely on lower cost funds, further reducing its cost funds to 2.1 percent.”
“We are delighted with the strategic progress we have made in FY22 riding on our customers’ trust, the dedication of our people, and the support of our wider partners and stakeholders. The bank remains committed to its business development drive, prudent risk management practices, and we are optimistic to deliver best value for our stakeholders in the days ahead,” he noted.
UBA Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than 25 million customers, across over 1,000 business offices and customer touch points, in 20 African countries, including Zambia and across four continents.
With presence in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and France and more recently the United Arab Emirates, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail; commercial and corporate banking; innovative cross-border payments and remittances; trade finance and ancillary banking services.