By CHIOMA OBINAGWAM
THE United Bank for Africa (UBA) has said it aims to grow its African subsidiaries to contribute as much as 50 per cent to the profitability of the group.
Speaking at the Group’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos recently, Group Managing Director (GMD) of UBA, Philips Oduoza said that the African subsidiaries contributed about 21 per cent to the group’s Profit Before Tax (PBT) in the 2015 financial year.
“Notwithstanding the impact of currency translation (as some African countries depreciated against the Nigerian naira, which is the Group’s reporting currency), the African business (ex-Nigeria) recorded a strong 16 per cent year-on-year growth in gross earnings with 21.5 per cent contribution to the Group’s top-line,” he said.
Oduoza also disclosed to the shareholders that their concern regarding an alternative source of income that would replace the phased out Commission On Turnover(COT) is already been considered by the bank as it has invested heavily on electronic banking(e-banking) which is hoped to yield the desired income.
“With respect to the issue on COT, we’ve already started to do something in e-banking. We’ve invested so much on e-banking and we are going to see far more income coming to the bank,” he said.
Notwithstanding the economic downturn, the bank was also prudent in managing its loan portfolio as Non-performing Loans (NPL) ratio closed lower in the southward direction at 1.7 per cent.
Buttressing, the Chairman of the bank, Tony Elumelu said the bank has the lowest NPL ratio in the banking industry as its NPL ratio for the banking segment closed at 0.79 per cent.
Highlights of the companies result for the financial year ended December 31, 2015 showed that the Profit Before Tax(PBT) grew 21.8 per cent to N68.45 billion from the N56.20 billion recorded in the corresponding year of 2014.
The group’s profit for the year closed at N59.65 billion in the review period from the N47.91 billion posted in the prior year; representing 24.5 per cent growth.
Gross Earnings increased by 9.8 per cent to N314.83 billion from the N286.62 billion in the prior year.
As a result of the impressive result, shareholders of the group approved a dividend of 40 kobo per share.