Wednesday, September 21Inside Business Africa

UBA assures shareholders of improved returns on key investments

United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has announced that it has spearheaded strategic investments in digital banking and technology platforms that would guarantee its capacity to absorb the impact of an uncertain environment.

UBA Group Chairman, Tony O. Elumelu, who gave this assurance to shareholders at the 59th yearly general meeting held in Lagos at the weekend, also assured shareholders of improved performance and greater returns on investment in the current financial year.

Also at the meeting, shareholders approved a final dividend of N0.35 kobo for every ordinary share of 50 kobo, bringing the total dividend for the year to N0.52 kobo as the bank had paid an interim dividend of N0.17 kobo earlier in the year.

Elumelu said the bank had established a diversified business model that ensures impressive performance even in periods of uncertainty, across its geographical network.

Also, he said the bank is focused on enhancing the capabilities of the staff through various online capacity development programmes.

“The bank has made strategic decisions that will strengthen its resolve to earn the industry leadership that it has envisioned in Nigeria, Africa and globally. Our African operations (ex-Nigeria) have contributed approximately 55 per cent of our profits for the year, illustrating that we are truly a pan-African bank.”

He said the bank remains committed to ensuring its viability amid an ever-changing business environment and to continue to be a role model for African businesses by showcasing the best of Africa to the world.

“The work we have done in strengthening our governance structures Group-wide and in improving our business and operating models in 2020 positions our bank to benefit from these recovery trends and to achieve significant market share gains across our operations,” he noted.

At the end of the 2020 financial year, UBA’s profits grew by 27.7 percent to N113.8 billion, up from N89.1 billion achieved in the 2019 financial year, while profit before tax stood at N131.9 billion, compared to N111.3 billion at the end of the 2019 financial year.

Gross earnings grew by 10.8 percent to N620.4 billion, higher than N559.8 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2019. Total assets also grew by 5.6 percent to N7.7 trillion IN 2020..

Shareholders at the meeting commended the bank’s decision to plough back some of its profits into the business, noting that these times call for prudent and effective management of financial resources for all businesses.

The Founder of Independence Shareholders Association of Nigeria, , Sir Sunny Nwosu, commended the board and management of the bank for keeping up with its activities despite the Covid-19 crisis and its resultant effect on businesses.

However, he urged the bank to do everything within its power to increase the dividend in the next financial year.

Nwosu applauded the bank for ensuring that the African subsidiaries performed well by contributing 55 per cent to the group’s business.

Another shareholder, Nonah Awoh urged the management to boost other subsidiaries with the needed resources to enable them to perform optimally in the current financial year.

The bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Kennedy Uzoka, who responded to shareholders’ comments on the reduced dividend pay-out during the period under review, explaining that the bank had decided to be conservative to further strengthen the business.

He said: “As an institution that has been in operations for 72 uninterrupted years, UBA wants to continue to perform optimally. In line with this, we have used most of our funds to prepare for unforeseen challenges. Given the trajectory and the resilience of our business, we can assure you that we will meet and surpass the expectation of you our shareholders.

“We have recalibrated our business structure, starting from Lagos and extending to the South-South. We have bolstered them with the necessary leadership to achieve our aim. We believe that with these measures we have put in place, our Nigerian business will give the rest of Africa a good fight,” he said.

Source: Guardian

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