NIGERIA – Union Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s leading commercial banks, has reported a 10% rise in gross earning for the half-year ended June 30, 2020 despite operating in a tough economic environment characterized by the COVID-19 economic and health crisis.

Union bank’s gross earnings rose to N79.9bn (US$ 206.05 million) from N72.4bn (US$ 186.71 million) in H1 2019, driven by an increase in earning assets.

The Nigerian commercial bank also reported a profit before tax of N11.3bn (US$29.14 million) a slight improvement compared to the N11.2bn (US$28.88 million) posted in H1 2019.

The Bank’s interest income was up six per cent to N57.2bn (US$ 147.51 million) from N53.8bn (US$ 138.74 million) in H1 2019, also driven by an increase in earning assets.

Net interest income before impairment grew by 21 per cent to N28.0bn (US$ 72.42 million) from N23.2bn (US$ 59.83 million) in H1 2019, driven largely by a reduction in interest expense.

 “The impact of COVID-19 and associated movement restrictions on the bank and the wider economy has been broad,” Chief Executive Officer, Union Bank, Emeka Emuwa, said.

Emuwa explained that the total lockdown of major commercial centres in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun and partial lockdowns across the country, slowed business operations in Q2 2020.

“Notwithstanding these significant headwinds, the bank delivered a 10 per cent increase in its top-line revenue of N79.9bn for H1 2020,” Emuwa said.

He however noted that that the slowdown limited growth in key income lines, including fees, commissions and cash recoveries.

Earlier this year, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc released its unaudited financial statement for first-quarter (Q1) period ended March 31st, 2020.

The report, which was published on the Nigerian Stock Exchange website, showed relative improvements across key financial indicators.

The bank’s gross earnings during that period increased by 16.5% to N43.9 billion (US$ 113.21 million), up from N37.6 billion (US$ 96.97 million) recorded in Q1 2019.

With a robust geographical network comprising more than 284 service centres and over 934+ ATMs spread across Nigeria, Union Bank offers a portfolio of banking services to individuals, SMEs, commercial and corporate clients.

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