By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
Lagos – Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc on Wednesday reported profit after tax of N15.2 billion for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2019.
The bank in a statement in Lagos said that the profit represented a growth of four per cent when compared with N14.7 billion posted in the comparative period of 2018.
Its profit before tax rose by five per cent to N15.6 billion in contrast with N14.9 billion achieved in the comparative period of 2018.
However, the bank’s gross earnings dipped four per cent to N117.2 billion against N122.2 billion posted in nine months of 2018.
The bank attributed the drop in gross earnings to decrease in average earning assets.
Its interest income stood at N90 billion compared with N91.5 billion in the corresponding period of 2018.
The bank’s net interest income after impairment inched by six per cent to N44.3 billion against N42 billion in 2018.
Also, non-interest income was down by 12 per cent to N27.1 billion in contrast with N30.7 billion in 2018, driven by reduced market volatility in 2019 which had an impact on trading income.
Commenting on the results, Mr Emeka Emuwa, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, was quoted by the statement as saying that, the performance was due to focus on consumer-centric service.
“Our continued focus on consumer-centric service and product propositions is yielding solid results, contributing to a 28 per cent growth in our electronic channels fee income which is at N5.6bn for the period.
“Our debt recovery drive continues to record successes with N8.4 bn of recoveries year to date.
“In line with our stated business objectives, we are continuing to grow our asset book by creating quality risk assets in targeted sectors.
“This has led to a nine per cent growth in our loan portfolio to N566.5 billion compared with N519.7 billion at year-end 2018.
“Going into the rest of the year, our ambition remains to deliver superior customer experience across all customer touch points,” Emuwa said.
Speaking on 2019 nine months numbers, Mr Joe Mbulu, the bank’s Chief Financial Officer, said that the bank would continue to pursue cost optimisation programme in spite of drop in gross earnings.
Mbulu said that its operating expenses reduced by three per cent to N56.2 billion from N58.0 billion in nine months of 2018.
He noted that the bank’s customer-related non-interest revenue drivers remained strong with net fee and commission income growing 10 per cent to N9.5 billion from N8.7 billion for the corresponding period in 2018.
“We continue to maintain adequate levels of capital with our Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) at 17.8 per cent which is above the regulatory threshold.
“Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) declined to 8.0 per cent from 8.7 per cent as at year-end 2018,” he said.