United Bank for Africa (UBA), a Lagos-based financial services group led by Nigerian multimillionaire businessman and philanthropist Tony Elumelu, started the year strong with a double-digit surge in earnings during the first three months of its 2023 fiscal year.
The group’s profit for the first quarter of its 2023 fiscal year increased by an impressive 29.1 percent from N41.5 billion ($90.1 million) in 2021 to N53.6 billion ($116.4 million). This surge in earnings was driven by higher interest and non-interest income, as well as the group’s cost strategies which effectively kept costs and expenses at manageable levels.
The Elumelu-led bank saw a remarkable increase in all its income from interest-bearing financial instruments, which rose by 53.4 percent from N125.08 billion ($271.7 million) to N191.9 billion ($416.8 million). This was due to the significant increase in the value of its interest-bearing assets and a surge in its loan portfolio.
During the period under review, UBA experienced a significant surge in both its interest and non-interest income. Its interest income increased by 53.4 percent to N191.9 billion ($416.8 million), while its non-interest income rose from N41.02 billion ($89.1 million) to N56.08 billion ($121.8 million) due to higher fees and commission income, as well as a surge in its trading and foreign exchange income.
The impressive financial performance resulted in UBA’s total assets increasing from N10.86 trillion ($23.6 billion) to N11.36 trillion ($24.7 billion), and its retained earnings surging from N429.53 billion ($932.9 million) to N479.95 billion ($1.04 billion).
As a leading financial services group in Nigeria and a pan-African bank with operations in 24 countries across four continents, including recent expansion into the United Arab Emirates, UBA is a major player in the industry. Tony Elumelu, a widely respected business executive on the continent, holds a significant 6.9-percent stake in the company.
Its impressive financial performance at the end of the first quarter of 2023 builds on strong momentum from the previous year, during which it recorded a profit of N170.28 billion ($369.6 million), despite incurring a N17.3-billion ($37.5 million) impairment loss due to its exposure in the Ghana investment market, which suffered a significant loss of value due to the Domestic Debt Exchange Program launched by the government of Ghana on Dec. 5, 2022.