Union Bank of Nigeria Plc on Wednesday announced gross earnings of N42.6 billion in its unaudited financial statements for the first quarter ended March 31, 2020.
The gross earnings represented an increase of 18 per cent when compared with N36.1 per cent achieved in the comparative period of 2019.
The result released by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) shows that profit before tax stood at N6.2 billion against N5.2 billion, an increase of 19 per cent.
Also, interest income rose by 18 per cent to N29.7 billion against N25.2 billion in the corresponding period of 2019. The bank’s net interest income before impairment rose by 38 per cent to N14.8 billion in contrast with N10.8 billion in 2019, driven by the growth in treasury assets.
Non-interest income appreciated by 18 per cent to N12.9 billion against N10.9 billion in 2019, an increase of 18 per cent.
Commenting on the results, Emeka Emuwa, CEO said:“Coming off a strong 2019, we maintained focus on executing our strategic priorities in Q1 2020, delivering double-digit growth across all our major income lines.
Profit Before Tax (PBT) grew by 19% to ₦6.2bn from ₦5.2bn in Q1 2019. Our Gross Earnings are also up by 18% to ₦42.6bn from ₦36.1bn in Q1 2019. Our platforms and channels continue to drive our performance as Non-Interest Income increased by 18% from ₦10.9bn in Q1 2019 to ₦12.9bn for the period with e-business fees contributing ₦2.1bn, a 71% growth compared to Q1 2019. The current COVID-19 pandemic presents daunting challenges for the global economy and consequently Nigeria and our business.
Our focus in the short term is on ensuring business continuity through our strong operational risk framework; ensuring the health and well-being of our employees by adopting stringent health and safety protocols at our operating branches and offices; and supporting our customers through the crisis.
We have reinforced our digital platforms to continue delivering value and convenience to our customers while aligning our focus areas to where opportunities emerge during and post COVID-19. We will continue to support the government, private entities and our communities in the fight against COVID-19.”
Speaking on the Q1 2020 numbers, Chief Financial Officer, Joe Mbulu said:“Headline numbers delivered 19% growth in Profit Before Tax to ₦6.2bn compared to ₦5.2bn in Q1 2019.
The 18% YoY growth in Non-Interest Income was driven by stronger trading income of ₦5bn compared to ₦2.2bn in Q1 2019, e-business income of ₦2.1bn compared to ₦1.2bn in Q1 2019 and revaluation gains of ₦2.7bn compared to ₦0.1bn in the same period last year.
Our operational efficiency also improved with Cost-Income Ratio declining YoY to 74.3% from 76.9% in Q1 2019 as our cost optimisation programme continues to yield results. We have also kept NPL ratios flat currently at 5.9% compared to 5.8% as at December 2019.
While the current COVID-19 pandemic has dimmed the global economy outlook for the year, we will leverage our strong capital position with Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) at 19.9% and our solid risk management framework towards delivery of our 2020 objectives.”