United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc on Thursday assured its shareholders and investors of enhanced returns on investments in the coming months.
This, the bank said, followed its establishment of a diversified business model that would ensure impressive performance.
The Chairman, UBA Group, Mr Tony Elumelu, gave the assurance at the bank’s 59th Annual General Meeting for the 2020 financial year, in Lagos.
Elumelu said the bank had made strategic decisions that would strengthen its resolve to earn the industry leadership that it had envisioned in Nigeria, Africa and globally.
“We spearheaded strategic investments in our digital banking and technology platforms to further promote self-service banking; we have also focused on enhancing the capabilities of our people through various online capacity development programmes.
“Our African operations (ex-Nigeria) have contributed approximately 55 per cent of our profits for the year, illustrating that we are truly a pan-African bank,” he said.
The chairman said the bank remained committed to ensuring its viability amid an ever-changing business environment and to continue be a role model for African businesses by showcasing the best of Africa to the world.
“The work we have done in strengthening our governance structures group-wide and in improving our business and operating models in 2020 positions our bank to benefit from these recovery trends and to achieve significant market share gains across our operations,” he said.
At the end of the 2020 financial year, UBA’s profits grew remarkably by 27.7 per cent to N113.8 billion compared with N89.1 billion recorded at the end of the 2019 financial year.
Profit before tax stood at N131.9 billion from N111.3 billion achieved at the comparative period of 2019.
Gross earnings grew by 10.8 per cent to N620.4 billion against N559.8 billion recorded in the same period of 2019 whilst total assets also grew by 5.6 per cent to an unprecedented N7.7 trillion for the year under review.
The bank proposed a final dividend of 35k for every ordinary share of 50k, bringing the total dividend for the year to 52k, having paid an interim dividend of 17k earlier in the year.
Shareholders at the meeting commended the bank’s decision to plough back some of its profits into business consolidation.
The present times, according to them, call for prudent and effective management of financial resources for all businesses, especially those with high shareholding rate such as UBA.
One of the shareholders, Sir Sunny Nwosu, commended the board and management of the bank for keeping up with its activities, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant effects on major businesses.
He advised the company to gear up efforts to increase dividends in the next financial year, commending it for ensuring that the African subsidiaries performed well by contributing 55 per cent to the group’s business.
Another shareholder, Mr Nonah Awoh, encouraged the management to boost other subsidiaries with the needed resources to help them perform better in the current financial year.
Responding to the comments, UBA’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr Kennedy Uzoka, said the bank reduced dividend pay-out in order to be conservative to further strengthen the business.
“As an institution that has been in operations for 72 uninterrupted years, UBA wants to continue to perform optimally.
“In line with this, we have used most of our funds to prepare for unforeseen challenges.
“Given the trajectory and the resilience of our business, we can assure you that we will meet and surpass the expectations of our shareholders.
“We have recalibrated our business structure, starting from Lagos and extending to the South-South.
”We have bolstered them with the necessary leadership to achieve our aim. We believe that with these measures we have put in place, our Nigerian business will give the rest of Africa a good fight,” Uzoka said.
United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than 21 million customers across over 1,000 business offices and customer touch points.