Africa’s Global Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has released its audited financial results for the full year ended December 31, 2022, showing 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 to $1.9 billion from $1.6 billion recorded at the end of the 2021 financial year, representing a strong 22.2 percent growth.
Total assets rose remarkably by 21.6 percent, crossing the $20billion mark, to close at $23.6billion in December 2022; up from $19.4billion in 2021. This is a very significant achievement and milestone in the history of the powerhouse financial institution.
Despite the highly challenging global economic and business environment, UBA recorded a laudable profit before tax, with a 23.5 percent growth, to close the year under review at $446.4 million, rising from $361.5 million recorded at the end of the 2021 financial year; while profit after tax (PAT) grew by 35.1 percent to $378 million in 2022, compared to $280.3 million recorded the year before. Consequently, UBA Group Shareholders’ Funds rose to $2billion, as at December 2022, achieving an impressive growth by 5.3%, compared to prior year.
In the year under consideration, UBA Group cost-to-income ratio dropped to 59.1%, from over 62% in prior year, pointing at the Group’s improving efficiency.
In its usual tradition of rewarding shareholders, the Bank proposed a final dividend of 0.2 cents for every ordinary share of 0.11 cents, for the financial year ended December 31, 2022. The final dividend which is subject to the ratification of the shareholders during its upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) will bring the total dividend for the year to 0.24 cents per share, as the Bank had paid an interim dividend of 0.04 cents, based on its audited 2022 half year results.
Also worthy of note, UBA recorded a 21.4 percent growth in loans to customers, moving up to $7.5 billion in 2022, whilst customer deposits improved by 22.9 percent to $17 billion, compared to $14.6 billion 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 Director/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 (+22.2%) and profitability (+35.1%) 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 35.1% to $378.0 million, with underlying growth in our key income lines and moderation in our cost of fund, resulting in robust growth of 5.3% 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’s Executive Director, Finance and Risk Management, Ugo Nwaghodoh, said going by this recent performance, UBA remains on strong footing and is comfortably positioned to take on more opportunities in Nigeria, Africa and beyond.
“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 21.6% and 22.9% respectively, whilst NIM grew to 5.61% from 5.57%. The continuous rejigging of the Groups’ risk management approach resulted in moderation of the NPL ratio, from 3.6% to 3.1%. The Group continued to rely on lower cost funds, further reducing its cost funds to 2.1%.”
“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.
United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than twenty-five million customers, across over 1,000 business offices and customer touch points, in 20 African countries and across 4 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.