United Bank for Africa (UBA) recorded an increase of 43 per cent in earnings for 2022 on the back of growth across key income streams, its audited earnings report showed on Friday.
The net interest income of the pan-African lender stood at N379.5 billion after expanding by approximately 20 per cent, driven in part by returns from investment in bonds, which more than doubled during the year.
Eroding earnings, the cash the bank laid aside to cover loans that are not likely to be repaid by borrowers jumped by nearly twofold to N19.7 billion, while its net impairment charge on other financial assets soared by 640.3 per cent to N22.3 billion.
UBA said elsewhere in a note to the report it incurred N17.3 billion impairment loss attributable to its exposure in Ghana investment market, “which significantly lost its value due to Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) launched by Government of Ghana in December 5, 2022.”
Net fee and commission income rose to N128.2 billion from N100.9 billion, thanks especially to a considerable increase in electronic banking income.
The bank grew net trading and foreign exchange income from N16.4 billion to N72.2 billion and other operating income by 45 per cent to N13 billion.
On the expenditure side, other operating expenses rose 28.9 per cent to N210.2 billion, with the cash spent on contract services and banking sector resolution being the main pressure points.
Profit before tax improved by almost one third to N200.9 billion, while after-tax profit advanced to N170.3 billion from N118.7 billion.
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Meanwhile, UBA has announced a cash plan involving a final dividend per share of N0.90 for shareholders whose names appear in the company’s register of members at the close of business on 14 April.
Payment is subject to the approval of the proposal by shareholders at the forthcoming annual general meeting scheduled for 27 April.
The move will bring the total dividend per share for 2022 to N1.10, compared to the N1 paid for the previous year. That leaves UBA’s total payout for 2022 at N37.6 billion.
Tony Elumelu’s Heirs Holdings Limited is UBA’s biggest shareholder, holding 5.3 per cent.
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