Union Bank of Nigeria Plc has reported a marginal increase in profit for the half year (H1) ended June 30, 2017.
The Bank post a profit before tax of N9.5 billion, showing a slim growth of 7 percent compared with N8.9 billion in 2016. Profit after tax also grew slightly by 5 percent from N8.8 billion to N9.2 billion.
The results also showed that the bank recorded gross earnings of N73.7 billion, showing a growth of 23 per cent from N60 billion in the corresponding period of 2016. Interest income was boosted by naira devaluation-fueled foreign currency loan book to hit N58.3 billion, up from N44.3 billion.
Net interest income rose 19 per cent to N26.3 billion, from N22.2 billion, while non-interest revenue fell marginally by two per cent from N15.7 billion to N15.4 billion. Customer deposits rose 15 per cent due to growing confidence in the bank to hit N759 billion as at June 30, up from N658 billion as December 31, 2016. Impairment charge fell by 39 per cent from N8.8 billion to N5.4 billion.
In his comments on the results, Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Emeka Emuwa said: “As our centenary celebrations continue and with the launch of ourN50 billion rights issue in the second half of the year, 2017 will remain a very busy year for the bank. With our clear focus on enhancing the operational efficiency of the franchise, gross earnings grew by 23 per cent in the first half of the year to N73.7 billion, from N60.1 billion in H1 2016. In a challenged economy, the group delivered PBT of N9.5 billion, a six growth over the corresponding period in 2016.”
According to him, in the second half of the year, their focus will centre on the rights issue launch, adding “we will remain nimble to take advantage of emerging opportunities and while improving service delivery to our customers.”
Also speaking on the results, Chief Financial Officer of the bank, Oyinkan Adewale, said: “Improved foreign exchange availability enabled us to bring our foreign currency loan book down to 44 per cent of total loans, from 50 percent at the end of 2016. 18 per cent customer deposit growth in the Nigerian bank allowed us to bring Loans to Deposit Ratio down to 65 per cent from 82 per cent at the end of 2016. Sustaining low-cost deposit generation momentum, we were able to improve our low-cost deposit base to 69per cent of total deposits, from 65 per cent at the end of 2016.”