NIGERIA – United Bank for Africa Plc, has said that its gross earnings grew by 13.3 per cent to N559.8bn (about US$1.55 billion) in 2019 financial period from N494.0bn (about US$1.37 billion) in the corresponding period of 2018.

A statement from the bank showing its audited results for the full year ended December 2019 revealed that its total assets also grew by 15.1 per cent to N5.6tn (about US$15.52 billion) in the year under review.

UBA said that this was the first time the bank’s gross earnings and assets would respectively cross the N500bn (about US$1.39 billion) and N5tn (about US$13.86 billion) marks.

The bank also revealed that, despite the challenging business environment in Nigeria, its profit before tax rose to N111.3bn (about US$307.6 million) in 2019, from N106.8bn (about US$295.99 million) at the end of the 2018 financial year.

It added that the profit after tax rose by 13.3 per cent to N89.1bn (about US$246.94 million) from N78.6bn (about US$217.84 million) recorded in 2018.

On the cost side, UBA noted that, operating expenses grew by 10.1 per cent to N217.2bn (about US$ 601.96 million) in 2019, from N197.3bn (about US$ 546.81 million) in 2018.

According to UBA, this was well below average inflation rate within the period and was thus a reflection of cost efficiency gains.

The Bank further noted that there was significant growth in the contribution of its 19 African subsidiaries to the Group’s net earnings and total assets.

It stated that Ex-Nigeria Operations’ contributed 46 per cent to the Group’s profit before tax in the year under review.

Commenting on the result, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Kennedy Uzoka, noted that 2019 was important for UBA Group, as it gained further market share in most of its countries of operation.

He stated, “The year 2019 was a very remarkable one for UBA given the adverse market developments. Nonetheless, we achieved sizable growth in balance sheet and earnings, even as we reposition the Bank for the future.”

The statement said UBA had been deploying innovative lifestyle products to expand its market share across sub-Saharan Africa.

The bank noted that it was leveraging its presence in the United Kingdom, United States of America and France, to build Africa’s true Global Bank, facilitating trade and capital flows between Africa and the rest of the world.