IN spite of the challenges in the operating environment, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc has reassured its shareholders of commitment to delivering sustained growth and profitability. The Shareholders of the bank also approved the payment of its first dividend payment in 11 years.
At the annual general meeting of the bank on Tuesday, May 5, which was held online, the stakeholders commend the overall performance and financial statement for the 2019 business year. Attendance at the AGM was by proxy in line with physical distancing measures put in place as a result of global COVID-19 pandemic. The proceedings of the meeting were, however, streamed live online for the benefit of all the bank’s shareholders and other stakeholders.
Beatrice Bassey, chairman, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, noted that the bank remains committed to delivering high-quality earnings to its shareholders as reflected by its improved performance in 2019, despite the challenging operating environment. She highlighted some of the bank’s achievements in 2019 to include-the launch of alpher, the bank’s proposition for women; the introduction of digital loan offerings; the issuance of a fully subscribed Tier-2, N30 billion bond and; the board’s recommendation of a dividend payment to its shareholders owing to the bank’s overall strong performance.
“We remain focused on delivering value to our shareholders as we continue to drive growth and profitability of our business towards sustaining this trend,” Bassey said.
On his part, Emeka Emuwa, chief executive officer, Union Bank of Nigeria, said the bank had in 2019 continued to emphasize revenue productivity and efficiency across all facets of its business.
According to him, the bank was focused on further leveraging its human resources, technology, brand and infrastructure that it had steadily built over the years to drive sustainable growth in earnings and profitability.
“Our efforts yielded positive results as we witnessed major feats across all our priority areas. We remain committed to delivering improved profitability and higher returns in 2020 and beyond.
Returning value to our shareholders has been at the core of Union Bank’s transformation and continuous drive to become a leading financial institution in Nigeria,” he said.
Emuwa noted that notwithstanding the tough operating environment, the bank remains focused on its strategy and ambition as it strives towards achieving its ambition to be Nigeria’s most reliable and trusted banking partner.
Other businesses conducted during the AGM included the election and re-election of directors and members of the statutory audit committee by shareholders; the appointment of Messrs Ernst and Young as the external auditor and the authorisation of the directors to fix the remuneration of the auditor.
The shareholders approved the payment of N7.3 billion 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-line.
Key extracts of the audited report and accounts of UBN for the year ended December 31, 2019 indicated that gross earnings grew by 14 percent from N140.1 billion in 2018 to N159.9 billion in 2019. Interest income had grown by 11 percent from N104.8 billion to N116.5 billion. Non-interest income also rose by 23 percent 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 percent from N18.7 billion to N24.7 billion. Profit after tax also rose by 32 percent from N18.4 billion to N24.4 billion.
The balance sheet also emerged stronger. Gross loans rose by 20 percent from N496.8 billion in 2018 to N595.3 billion. Customer deposits increased by 5.0 percent to N886.3 billion in 2019 as against N844.4 billion in 2018.
– May 8, 2020 @ 14:17 GMT |