Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc has aligned its targets to harnessing emerging opportunities during and after this COVID-19 pandemic. Against the background of double-digit growths in key performance indicators in the first quarter of 2020, the management of the bank stated that it would leverage its enhanced digital platform and focus on emerging opportunities to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on its operations, Thecitypulsenews reports.
Chief Executive Officer, Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc, Mr. Emeka Emuwa, said the pandemic presents daunting challenges for the global economy and consequently Nigeria and UBN’s business. He said the bank has reinforced its digital platforms to continue delivering value and convenience to its customers while aligning focus areas to where opportunities emerge during and after the pandemic.
According to him, the bank’s targets in the short term is on ensuring business continuity through its strong operational risk framework while ensuring the health and well-being of its employees by adopting stringent health and safety protocols at its operating branches and offices.
He assured that the bank would continue to support its customers as well as government, other private entities and communities in the fight against COVID-19. He pointed out that the bank had maintained focus on executing its strategic priorities in first quarter of the year, which led to sustained growth across all its major income lines.
Key extracts of the interim report and accounts of UBN for the three-month period ended March 31, 2020 showed that gross earnings rose by 18 per cent to N42.6 billion in first quarter 2020 as against N36.1 billion in first quarter 2019. Interest income had grown by 18 per cent from N25.2 billion to N29.7 billion. The UB net interest income before impairment increased by 38 per cent to N14.8 billion as against N10.8 billion when compared to the same period in 2019. Profit before tax grew by 19 per cent to N6.2 billion in first quarter 2020 as against N5.2 billion in first quarter 2019. After more than a decade without dividend payment, UBN recently distributed N7.3 billion to its shareholders as cash dividend for the 2019 business year, implying a dividend per share of 25 kobo. The dividend was a major highlight of considerable improvements in the commercial bank’s top-line and bottom-lines in 2019. Key extracts of the audited report and accounts of the bank for the year ended December 31, 2019 indicated that gross earnings grew by 14 per cent from N140.1 billion in 2018 to N159.9 billion in 2019. Interest income had grown by 11 per cent from N104.8 billion to N116.5 billion. Non-interest income also rose by 23 per cent from N35.3 billion to N43.3 billion.
The report further showed that operating expenses declined marginally from N71 billion to N70.8 billion. Net operating income increased from N89.7 billion to N95.5 billion. Profit before tax grew by 33 per cent from N18.7 billion to N24.7 billion. Profit after tax also rose by 32 per cent from N18.4 billion to N24.4 billion. The balance sheet also emerged stronger. Gross loans rose by 20 per cent from N496.8 billion in 2018 to N595.3 billion. Customer deposits increased by 5.0 per cent to N886.3 billion in 2019 as against N844.4 billion in 2018.