Chinwendu Obienyi

Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc has reported a profit of N12.1 billion in its half year unaudited financial statements.

This is even as the bank said that it would continue to focus on opportunities to deliver simpler, smarter banking to its customers, while improving internal operational efficiencies that will translate to enhanced shareholder value.

In the report, the bank’s profit before tax (PBT) grew by 4 per cent to N12.1 billion, from N11.7 billion recorded in 2018; customer deposits increased by 4 per cent to N889.5 billion as against  N857.6 billion in December 2018, demonstrating the success of the bank’s ongoing acquisition of low-cost deposits driven by strengthened brand affinity.

However, Union Bank’s gross earnings declined by 9 per cent to N76 billion, from N83.3 billion in 2018. Interest income slipped by 8 per cent to N57.3 billion from N62.2 billion, while non-interest income depreciated by 12 per cent to N19 billion from N21.1 billion in 2018 due to muted volatility negatively impacting trading income, despite a 27 per cent growth in credit-related fees and 169 per cent growth in cash recoveries at N5.3 billion when compared with N1.9 billion recorded in 2018.

Commenting on the results, its Chief Executive Officer, Emeka Emuwa, noted that in spite of the realities of operating in a challenging economic environment, the Group was able to sustain growth , adding that the bank remains steadfast in its commitment to delivering value and first-class customer experience to all its customers.

According to him, Union Bank have developed a concerted and clear plan to increase its risk assets with its loan book growing by 8 per cent to N563 billion compared to year-end 2018.

“The ability to take on more risk is hinged on our robust risk management and debt recovery processes working in sync ,which led to recoveries of over N5 billion in the period.

We successfully closed our Series 3, 10 year N30 billion bond in June, as part of our N100 billion debt capital programme. This series, which was once again fully subscribed, is the largest 10-year bond issued by a Nigerian corporate to date.