Union Bank Reports 5.8% Increase in Pretax Profit for 2016 End, to Raise N50 Billion Via Rights in H1 2017

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Union20170331165056 Bank of Nigeria Plc said on Friday its pretax profit for the period ended December 31, 2016 jumped 5.8 percent to N15.7 billion from N14.8 billion posted a year ago.

Post-tax profit for the period also increased seven  percent (7%)to N15.3 billion from N14.3 billion recorded the same period of 2016.

Gross earnings of Union Bank increased 7.6 percent to N126.5 billion from N117.2 billion declared a year earlier, the lender saidin a filing with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

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The lender in a statement said following approvals from its shareholders, it will launch a rights issue in the second quarter of 2017 to raise up to Fifty Billion Naira (N50 billion) in Tier 1 capital as it looks to accelerate business growth and position asa leading commercial bank in Nigeria. “The additional funding will also allow Union Bank to maintain compliance with regulatory capital requirements,” it added.

Union Bank also marks its centenary anniversary in 2017. The Bank will celebrate the 100-year milestone under three broad themes – Celebrate, Impact and Lead. According to Chief Executive Officer, Emeka Emuwa, “Our 100th anniversary presents a unique opportunity for Union Bank to frame its own story, highlighting our many successes over the last century andpresenting our simpler, smarter vision of banking and corporate citizenship to a new generation of customers.”

Group Financial Highlights:

Profit before tax: up 6% to ₦15.7bn (₦14.9bn in 2015).

Gross earnings: up 8% to ₦126.6bn (₦117.2bn in 2015).

Interest income: up 8% to ₦98.0bn (₦90.9bn in 2015), driven by loan book growth and improved Bank asset yields.

 

Interest expense: down 6% to ₦33.0bn (₦35.2bn in 2015): improved customer funding base; less reliance on expensive interbank funding, leading to drop in core cost of funds to 5.23% in 2016 from 6.64% in 2015.

Net revenue before impairment: up 14% to ₦93.6bn (₦81.9bnin 2015): 8% interest income growth and 6% interest expense decline. Net Interest Margins improved from 8.45% to 8.65%

Non-interest revenue: up 9% to ₦28.6bn (₦26.2bn in 2015); driven mostly by income from e-business channels.

Operating expenses (OPEX): up 7% to ₦62.0bn (₦57.9bn in 2015) in the face of inflationary and devaluation pressures and ongoing investments in technology and network infrastructure. OPEX held flat from 2013 to 2015.

 

Gross loans: up 38% to ₦535.8bn (₦388.8bn as at Dec 2015). 25% of the growth is the impact of devaluation on foreign currency loans.

Customer deposits: up 15% to ₦658.4bn (₦570.6bn as at Dec 2015); growth was led by new product offerings, increased market penetration and improved customer offtake.

Key Operational Highlights:

 

Expanded retail product portfolio with the launch of five new products including UnionBetta, a savings product that allows customers to earn interest while also supporting a charitable cause.

Accelerated customer on-boarding on UnionMobile and UnionOnline with over 380% growth in mobile users and about 50% increase in internet banking users following the launch of new platforms with expanded capabilities in 2016

More than half of our branches across the network have now been upgraded to align with our new brand identity and our customer centred service approach. Over 30 branch launch events held in in 2016.

Local and international recognition with awards for:

Ranked No. 9 in Jobberman’s Best Places to Work in Nigeria survey for 2016.

“Most improved bank in retail banking” – Business Day

“Best Bank to Support Nigeria’s Small and Medium Scale Enterprises” – Business Day

 

“Best Brand Development to Reflect Changed Mission / Vision / Positioning” – Transform Awards.

MENA

 

“Best Visual Identity from the Financial Services Sector” – Transform Awards MENA

Speaking on the Group’s results for the year, Emeka Emuwa said:

“In 2016, we focused on executing our priorities across the different business segments, especially in the retail space, with an aggressive strategy to increase adoption of our alternate channels. Our success in this area, along with improved core interest earnings, contributed to pre-tax profit growth of 6%, compared to 2015.

Our research led product development strategy, coupled with anupskilled sales force and targeted marketing campaigns, propelled our customer deposit base by 15%, compared to 2015,and a 73% increase in new-to-bank customers.

While the operating environment remains a challenge, we are focused on our 2017 priorities which include raising Tier 1 capital to execute our growth agenda across our retail, commercial and corporate businesses, particularly transaction banking and value chain.

Commenting further on the 2016 numbers, Chief Financial Officer, Oyinkan Adewale, said:

“On the back of strong customer deposits, the Bank reduced average interbank local currency borrowing by 75%, leading to 141bps reduction in primary cost of funds and 17% increase in net interest income.