UBA Recovers From Loss With 905% Profit Growth In 2012

LAGOS – United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc. has recorded bullish growth for the year 2012 as its profit rose by over 905 percent to N54.8 billion ($370.4 million) from the N6.8 billion ($43.1 million) loss it recorded the previous year.

Its audited financial results for the for the year ended December 31, 2012 released at the weekend shows that the bank recovered from the loss recorded in 2011 which it said was on the account of loan provisioning that it did to clean up its balance sheet.

UBA’s audited account shows that its Profit Before Tax (PBT) rose by 295 percent to N52 billion ($330 million) in 2012, compared with a loss of N26.60 billion ($169 million) in the previous year, while its Total Comprehensive Income attributable to equity holders grew by 5,058 percent to N55.53 billion ($352 million) compared with a loss of N1.12 billion ($7.1 million) in 2011.

Gross Earnings in 2012 for UBA grew significantly by 34.45 percent to peak at N220.1 billion ($1.3 billion); representing approximately N56.40 billion ($358 million) additional revenue from the N163.7 billion ($1 billion) achieved the previous year.

UBAThe bank was able to keep total operating expense lower by 3.30 percent during the period under review.

Speaking on the Bank’s financial year performance, Group Managing Director of the bank, Phillips Oduoza, said the results demonstrates the strength and resilience of the bank’s business model admist tough operating environment.

“UBA had a strong year in 2012. Our success was again driven by the strength of our customer-focused, Corporate and Treasury driven business model. We are confident about our ability to deliver sustainable earnings growth in the future. We will continue to strategically invest in our businesses, manage our expenses and contain cost, whilst continually seeking ways to exceed expectations of our stakeholders.”

Oduoza commended the bank’s employees and their dedication to customers and clients, whom he said remains the driving force behind the bank’s success.

He added that: “The bank had a good performance for full year 2012, putting us in a position to commence the journey back to industry leadership and setting the stage for the attainment of our long term strategic intent of being a leading Bank on the African continent.”

Also commenting on the bank’s growth is the Group Chief Finance Officer, Ugochukwu Nwaghodoh, who said, the bank has continued to focus on customer service delivery, efficient capital management and returns maximization with return on equity exceeding 30 per cent in 2012.

“Our ability to serve clients globally with solutions tailored to their needs gives us a strong advantage in today’s rapidly changing and highly competitive market place. Adopting a unique business platform across Africa, as a group, has also ensured that we present a single face to our customers and clients around Africa . This does not only help foster collaboration throughout the Group, it also strengthens our ability to deliver value adding and innovative solutions to our customers and clients through our integrated model.” Nwaghodoh said.

Meanwhile, UBA’s chief executive, Oduoza, at the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on Africa said the bank expects to make at least half of its pretax profit outside Nigeria within the next two years as most of its African operations become profitable.

Although UBA had set a target of 2017 or 2018 for earning 50 percent of its pretax profit outside Nigeria; Oduoza told Reuters that the bank was likely to meet that goal much earlier than planned.

“I believe that we should be able to exceed that 50 (percent) by 2015. Today, in terms of earnings, we’re talking of Africa contributing about 23 percent. The good thing is that most of the African operations have entered into profit. By the end of this year all of them should be in profit.”

UBA has operations in 19 African countries including Ghana, Kenya, Liberia and Mozambique with plans to secure banking licence in Africa’s energy producing giant, Angola.

The bank is also in discussions with regulators in Britain to convert its banking licence which will allow it offer retail services there.

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