UNION Bank of Nigeria (UBN) has declared a profit before tax of N12.1 billion for the half year ended June 30, 2019, which represents a growth of four per cent when compared with N11.7 billion achieved in the same period in 2018.
The reports published Monday by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed that gross earnings stood at N76 billion, which also was in contrast with ₦83.3 billion posted half year 2018, indicating a decline of nine per cent due to decrease in average earning assets.
According to reports from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the interest income was down by eight per cent to ₦57.3 billion against ₦62.2 billion in the same period in 2018.
Also, net interest income after impairment grew by three per cent to ₦30.5 billion against ₦29.7 billion in half year period of 2018, supported by an aggressive drive in collections.
Net operating income was slightly down by two per cent to ₦49.6 billion compared with ₦50.9 billion in the previous period of 2018.
NAN reports that operating expenses was down by four per cent to ₦37.5 billion against ₦39.2 billion in H1 2018; reflecting the gains of the bank’s cost optimisation programme.
The Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank, Mr Emeka Emuwa said the bank was able to deliver growth in profit before tax in spite of the realities of a challenging economic environment.
He said, “notwithstanding the realities of operating in a challenging economic environment, the Group delivered a per cent growth in Profit Before Tax to ₦12.1 billion from ₦11.7 billion in H1 2018.
“To sustain growth in earnings, we remained steadfast in our commitment to delivering value and first-class customer experience to all our customers.
“We have developed a concerted and clear plan to increase our risk assets with our loan book growing by eight per cent to ₦563.0 billion compared to year-end 2018.
“The ability to take on more risk is hinged on our robust risk management and debt recovery processes working in sync which led to recoveries of over N5 billion in the period.
“We successfully closed our Series 3, 10 year ₦30 billion bond in June, as part of our ₦100 billion debt capital programme.
“This series, which was once again fully subscribed, is the largest 10-year bond issued by a Nigerian corporate to date.
“This further reinforces the confidence of the investor community in Union Bank. With this new injection of tier 2 capital, we are well positioned to deliver on our growth strategy and priorities.
“Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on opportunities to deliver our simpler, smarter banking promise to our customers while improving internal operational efficiencies which will translate to enhanced shareholder value.”
Union Bank’s Chief Financial Officer, Mr Joe Mbulu, said “in the first half of 2019, we continued with our expansion strategy to grow our agency banking footprint which in turn boosted customer confidence in our brand.”
He stated that customer deposits followed the same trajectory with a four per cent growth, to ₦889.5 billion as at June 2019 from ₦857.6 billion in December 2018.
Mbulu noted further that, “with our aggressive focus on recoveries and improving asset quality, the bank’s Non Performing Loan ratio has continued its downward trend, declining to 7.3 per cent from 8.1 per cent as at December 2018 ahead of full year 2019 guidance.
“Improvement in asset quality has enabled us to grow our loan book optimally in the first half of 2019, positioning us with the ability to take on emerging opportunities in key sectors of the economy.”