THE Chairman, United Bank for Africa, Tony Elumulu, on Thursday said UBA was able to drive down its non-performing loans to a record low of 3.6 per cent in 2021, despite the growth in the bank’s loan book to N2.83tn in the same year.
He disclosed this in the 2021 Annual Report and Accounts of the bank, as released at the 60th Annual General Meeting of the bank in Abuja.
Elumelu assured shareholders and investors of the bank’s commitment to sustain its current growth trajectory, adding that its efforts at business diversification across Africa and beyond had continued to yield increasing returns.
On the loan performance of the bank, the UBA chairman briefly said, “Through our internal credit risk assessment models and dynamic recovery management, we were able to further drive down the ratio of our non-performing loans, to a record low of 3.6 per cent from 4.7 per cent in 2020.
“This was achieved despite the growth in our loan book to N2.83tn in the year (2021).”
He also noted that the bank’s investment decisions over the past few years had translated to huge returns for its investors, despite the challenging business environment witnessed in the last two years.
“I am proud of how as a group, we have been able to further consolidate on the new capabilities we have built, novel customer solutions we have deployed, efficiency gains recorded and the growth prospects we have leveraged from a recovering world,” Elumelu told shareholders at the AGM.
He added, “These were the building blocks for the very strong financial performance and the growth delivered by your group in 2021, further confirming the wisdom of the investments we made and the strategy we have pursued to ensure the diversification and sustainability of our business model.”
At the end of the 2021 financial year, UBA’s profit before tax rose by 20.3 percent to N153.1bn, compared to N127.3bn at the end of the 2020 financial year.
Its profit after tax grew by 8.7 per cent to N118.7bn in 2021, compared to N109.2bn recorded the previous year.
As a result, the bank proposed a final dividend of 80 kobo for every ordinary share of 50 kobo for the financial year ended December 31, 2021, bringing the total dividend for the year to N1.00, as the bank had earlier paid an interim dividend of 20kobo.
The bank’s Group Managing Director, Kennedy Uzoka, said the firm’s business outside Nigeria had been doing well, as he specifically noted that its branch in the United Kingdom had witnessed remarkable expansion.
He said, “As from July 2021, UBA UK started making profit, and even to date, they are still doing well, and the same can be said for many of our African subsidiaries.
“The truth is that we are driven by the opportunities and potential in each of the geographies that we invested in, and we are happy with what we have achieved so far.”