Nigeria’s leading agricultural lender, Unity Bank Plc, sustained its growth momentum as demonstrated in its 2020 full year earnings, recording impressive performance of 43 per cent in both profit before and after tax during the first quarter (Q1) of the year.
In its unaudited Q1-2021 results submitted to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday, the retail lender’s profit before tax (PBT) grew by 43 per cent to N784.3million from N550.1 million recorded in the corresponding period of 2020.
Profit After Tax (PAT) for the period which also grew by 43 per cent stood at N721.5million compared to the N506.1million recorded in Q1-2020.
As a consequence of increased focus on supporting local enterprises and industry, the asset portfolio also showed a significant growth in loan book of 76 per cent with net loans and advances to customers increased to N223.2 billion up from N126.6 billion recorded in the corresponding period.
The total assets of the bank for the period showed an appreciable growth of 42 percent to close at N521.5 billion from N366.8 billion in the corresponding period of 2020. The balance sheet of the bank had been considerably de-risked with an NPL ratio of near zero per cent (0 percent) which it had consistently maintained over time, thus making the Bank to rank as one of the best in risk management and credit creation culture.
The bank recorded gross earnings of N11.5billion, representing marginal decline of 3 percent when compared to N11.9billion posted in the corresponding period of 2020. The positive growth in profit and other strong indicators recorded in Q1-2021 are a sign of the bank’s growing resilience amid the economy’s recovery trajectory following the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic.
Other key highlights of the Q1-2021 results included the cash and balances with the Central Bank which recorded a whopping 326 percent leap to close at N111.2billion from N26.1billion in the corresponding period of 2020.
The lender also grew its customer deposits by 13 percent to N348.3billion up from N308.8billion recorded in the period under review, a strong indication of the growing popularity and acceptance of the bank’s array of innovative products and services and the arrays of new technologies deployed in its operations to enhance high level of customers’ experience and service delivery.
Interest and similar income also recorded a marginal increase of 1 percent to N9.7billion compared to N9.6 billion posted in the corresponding quarter of 2020. However, net interest income recorded a 16 percent increase to N4.8billion from N4.1billion in the corresponding period of 2020.
Total operating income also rose by 3 percent to N6.6billion from N6.4billion, even as the net operating income rose by 12 percent to close at N6.7billion from N5.9billion in the corresponding period of 2020.
Commenting on the result, the Managing Director/CEO, Unity Bank Plc, Mrs. Tomi Somefun, said that the first quarter result was an indication of better outcome for the year, profoundly reflecting the bank’s renewed focus on driving efficiency and productivity anchored on targeted initiatives to grow both volume and quality of assets and offer a wide range of customer-centric products supported by novel technologies to its teeming and growing customers in all the six-geopolitical zones in Nigeria.