Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc, has recorded a growth of 33 per cent in its profit before tax (PBT) for the year ended December 31, 2018.
The bank’s PBT rose to N18.5 billion during the year under review from N13.9 billion in 2017. Operating expenses increased to N75 billion compared with N66.7 billion a year ago, while customer deposits rose by 7 per cent to N857.6 billion from N802.4 billion recorded in 2017.
However, earnings decreased by N148 billion from N168 billion posted in the corresponding year of 2017, representing a 11 per cent drop due to what the bank attributed to an 8 per cent drop in its loan book, while its Gross revenues declined by 11 per cent to N145.5 billion in 2018 from N163.8 billion in the previous year as a direct consequence of the loan book clean-up and resolution of key exposures.
The bank’s Non-Performing Loan (NPL) Ratio also fell by 8.1 per cent from 20.8 per cent as at December 2017.
Speaking on the Group’s results for the year, Chief Executive Officer, Union Bank Plc, Emeka Emuwa, said that the bank’s priorities in 2018 were three pronged, including enhancing its productivity across board, tightening of loan portfolio (especially resolving key large exposures which drove NPLs up significantly at the end of 2017) and optimising the Bank’s capital and funding base.
Emuwa noted that with the bank’s efforts in optimising productivity despite the depressed economic environment, delivered results, as Net Revenues After Impairments increased by 16 per cent to N93.5 billion compared to N80.6 billion in 2017 coupled with significant contribution from growth in retail transaction volumes across its channels.
He said, “Through an aggressive focus on recoveries and recognising fully provisioned loans on our books, we successfully reduced the bank’s NPL ratio, which is now down to 8.1 per cent in 2018 from 20.8 per cent at the end of 2017, in line with guidance provided at the start of the year.
In 2019, we will continue to maintain focus on recoveries while prudently rebuilding our loan book and maintaining a conservative risk profile.”