Shareholders of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc Friday unanimously endorsed the bank’s annual report and accounts for the year ended 31 December, 2013 just as they commended the board and management for sustaining the bank’s profitability, despite the challenging operating environment.
Speaking at the bank’s Annual General Meeting, held at the Oriental Hotel, Lekki, Lagos, the shareholders extolled the board for consistently delivering value on their investments in the bank. They also approved the N0.50 per share dividend as recommended by the board.
Speaking at the AGM, National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders association of Nigeria (ISAN, Sir Sunny Nwosu said, “the board and management should be commended for the way they handled last year’s operations of the Bank, they have done well and we look forward to a better dividend next year.”
Similarly, President, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), Boniface Okezie, said “We hope for a better operating environment next year so that the Bank can pay higher dividend.”
Giving the Bank’s scorecard for the year under review, Chairman, Ambassador Joe Keshi, said UBA has been able to consistently deliver value to shareholders, due to the bank’s resilient business model, and despite the unanticipated domestic and global headwinds faced by the industry.
Speaking on the bank’s financial performance, he said, the UBA Group recorded gross earnings of N264.7 billion for the period under review, an increase of 20% over the N220.1 billion recorded in 2012.
“The headline performance was buoyed by growth in interest income and non-interest revenue. Loan growth and improved pricing boosted interest income which grew by 24%, whilst Non-interest income grew by a modest 15%. Profit before income tax was up by 8% to N56.1 billion compared to N52.0 billion in the prior year (2012).”
“We believe the bank is poised to deliver better performance in 2014 as the underlying momentum of the Group’s business continues to be robust,” Ambassador Keshi said.
Also speaking during the AGM, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, UBA Plc, Phillips Oduoza said the bank’s African subsidiaries recorded overall revenue growth of 22% in 2013 to N49.9 billion, from N41.5 billion in 2012. He stressed that revenue growth rate in 2013 surpassed the 18% growth in the previous year. Also, the equity base attributable to the African subsidiaries remained strong at N55.2 billion, from N45.7 billion in 2012.
Oduoza emphasized that while key strategic imperatives as defined in 2013 remains the major thrust for the actualisation of the bank’s “PROJECT ALPHA” corporate goals, management will leverage on the viable platform established in 2013 to further consolidate on the current growth momentum.
“We will adopt a very aggressive approach to market and ensure focused implementation of our strategic priorities, to drive achievement of our corporate targets,” he added.
He disclosed that as a proactive Bank, UBA has adequately resourced and re- aligned its structures to optimise emerging opportunities arising across all the regional blocs, while also adopting appropriate risk management frameworks to mitigate likely exposures in its operations both within the local and global environment