Africa’s leading financial institution, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) has announced its audited half-year financial results for the period ended June 2019, showing impressive growth across key performance indices as well as a significant contribution from its African subsidiaries.
In spite of the increasingly unpredictable environment witnessed in some of its countries of operations, the pan African financial institution delivered double-digit growth in its profit before tax as it rose by 21% to N70.3 billion for the half-year to June 2019, up from N58.1bn recorded in the similar period of 2018, just as the Profit after Tax also improved to N56.7 billion, a 29.6% growth compared to N43.8 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2018. The profit for the first half of the year, translated to an annualised return on average equity of 21.7%.
According to its results filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange, UBA recorded a 14% year-on-year rise in top-line, with gross earnings of N293.7 billion, compared to N257.9 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2018. Analysts say that this performance emphasises the capacity of the Group to deliver strong performance through economic cycles in spite of the overall challenging business environment.
As at 30 June 2019, the Bank’s Total Assets grew by 4.8% crossing the N5 trillion mark to N5.10 trillion. Customer Deposits also rose by 4.8% to N3.51 trillion, compared to N3.35 trillion as at December 2018. This growth trajectory underscores UBA’s market share gain, as it increasingly wins customers through its revitalized customer service culture coupled with innovative digital banking offerings. The bank’s Shareholders’ Funds remained strong at N542.5 billion, reflecting its strong capacity for internal capital generation.
In line with its culture of paying both interim and final cash dividend, the Board of Directors of UBA Plc declared an interim dividend of N0.20 per share for every ordinary share of N0.50 each held by its shareholders.
Commenting on the results, the Group Managing Director/CEO, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Mr. Kennedy Uzoka said: “I am pleased with the half performance of the Group, having delivered 14% growth in gross earnings and 21% growth in profit before tax. Despite the subdued yield environment in some of our large markets, we achieved a 9% growth in interest income and defended the net interest margin. We also achieved a 39% growth in our electronic banking revenues, as we broaden and deepened our digital banking play across Africa. Revenues from our remittance and funds transfer businesses grew 69% and 53% respectively. All these factors attest to the efficacy of our strategies and the resilience of our business model.”
He further stated, “I am very optimistic that the ongoing Group-wide transformation program, will in the quarters ahead, enable the Bank deliver substantial operational efficiencies and best-in-class customer service, which will ultimately boost earnings. We sustained our asset quality with the NPL ratio down to 5.62%, from 6.45% as at 2018FY. We will continue to adopt best practice standards to grow and manage the portfolio in the quarters ahead.”
Also speaking on UBA’s results, the Group CFO, Ugo Nwaghodoh said, “We had a strong start in the year given the prevailing macroeconomic environment across our various markets. There is better diversification in profit contribution as our banking subsidiaries across Africa contributed 38% of the profit before tax, whilst our recently repositioned UK business contributed 4%. We expect this dispersion to continue, as the subsidiaries consolidate on their share of the various markets.
“I am particularly delighted that the key ratios are trending in the right direction. The net interest margin is trending upwards and will continue to improve as we responsibly grow the risk asset portfolio and realign the funding mix to lower our cost of funds. The cost-to-income ratio trended down to 60% with our focus on balance sheet and operational efficiencies which should enable us to deliver our medium-term CIR target. Capital adequacy ratio increased to 28% from 23.6% in December 2018, providing a very strong buffer for asset growth,” he stated.
United Bank for Africa, Africa’s global bank, was founded 70 years ago in Nigeria and today, operates in 20 African countries and in the United Kingdom, the USA and with presence in France. UBA serves over 17 million customers across the globe with more than 1000 branches and touchpoints. In 2018, the bank received the award of Africa’s Best Digital Bank by the Banker’s magazine.
NSIA records total comprehensive income of N36.15 billion in 2019
The NSIA recorded an increase in total assets to N649.84 billion at the end of the financial year.
The Executive Director, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Stella Ojekwe-Onyejeli, announced in a virtual briefing to newsmen on Friday that the NSIA recorded a Total Comprehensive Income (TCI) of N36.1 5 billion in 2019.
She revealed that the 2019 income was less than the TCI for 2018, which was N44.34 billion. However, the NSIA recorded an increase in total assets to N649.84 billion at the end of the financial year, as opposed to that of 2018 which closed at N617.70 billion.
Ms Ojekwe-Onyejeli said that TCI income for 2019 included foreign exchange gains at N1.26 billion compared to N18.05 billion in 2018, noting that the gain in forex was due to changes in Nigeria’s official exchange rate from N305 to a dollar to N325.
“As of year-end 2019, NSIA’s core capital remained at 1.5 billion dollars.” She said. “The Authority continues to manage 3rd party funds on behalf of some government institutions. We currently manage funds for the Debt Management Office (DMO) and the Ministry of Finance.
“For DMO, the current value of Assets under Management (AuM) is 124.03 million dollars. For 2018, this fund stood at 122.60 million dollars in AuM.
“For the Nigeria Stabilisation Fund, managed on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, the Fund Balance was N33.365 billion. As of 2018, this balance increased to N20.814 billion.”
“However, the National Economic Council voted for an additional capital contribution of 250 million dollars in 2019, which was received on April 8,” she explained.
She added that the group’s strategy to invest in diversified products across the yield curve provided returns and that the Stabilisation Fund (SF), which had been fully invested by the end of 2019, returned 5.81%, outperforming its benchmark by 381 basis points.
She also stated that the Future Generations Fund (FGF), deployed by the NSIA across multiple global equities, hedge funds and other diversifiers, returned 6.45% at the end of 2019, outperforming its benchmark of 6.43%.
“As of year-end 2019, we had deployed over 90 percent of the capital in the Future Generations Fund,” she said.
Sterling Bank’s earnings to remain pressured but valuations still attractive
We project Pre-tax Profit of N9.0bn (down 15% y/y) and we estimate ROAE of 6.9% in 2020e (FY 2019; 9.8%).
Sterling Bank’s Q1 2020 numbers were largely impacted by the regulatory-induced fee cut on e-banking transactions resulting in a decline in Net Fee and Commission (down 16% y/y) and weak operating efficiency given the higher growth in OPEX (up 8% y/y) compared with the increase in operating income (up 3% y/y). Net Interest Margin (NIM) however improved to 7.7% in Q1 2020 (Q1 2019; 7.4%) on the back of lower funding cost (5.1% in Q1 2020 compared with 6.6% in Q1 2019).
Sterling bank’s NPL ratio declined to 2.0% in Q1 2020 from 8.9% in Q1 2019 following the declassification of exposures in stressed sectors. We do not expect asset quality issues to crystallise in the short term, as we expect the bulk of the loans in the Oil and gas upstream/midstream (c.27% of gross loan) to be restructured. We however expect earnings to weaken in 2020, due to low asset yields amidst weak loan creation and the downward adjustment in fees on e-banking transactions. We Project Pre-tax Profit of N9.0bn (down 15% y/y) and we estimate ROAE of 6.9% in 2020e (FY 2019; 9.8%).
Following the downward revision to our 2020 earnings forecast, we have revised our target price downwards to N1.67/s from N2.84/s previously. We however maintain our BUY recommendation due to attractive valuations (P/E; 3.7x and P/B; 0.3x) and the 34% upside from the last closing price of N1.25/s. We note that the steep decline in the stock price (down c.37% since the start of the year) presents an attractive entry point.
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Covid-19: Guinness Nigeria warns investors its results will be bad
Guinness’ financing cost rose by 97 % to N3.582 billion compared to N1.817 billion recorded in 2019.
Guinness Nigeria Plc, on Wednesday, informed the public in a statement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, about the material circumstances that will impact its full-year financial results for 2020.
Excerpts of the report are as follows;
- The adverse impact of the sharp contraction in economic activities and the knock-on effect of the COVID-19 lockdown took a toll on the on-trade segment of the business across all our markets. Production and revenues have thus been negatively affected.
- Guinness Nigeria carried out a comprehensive review of its asset base and made a strategic decision to impair a certain category of assets, which were generating suboptimal returns. This is in line with the company’s long-term strategy of delivering value to shareholders.
- Due to a combination of the impact of COVID-19 and the asset impairment, we expect the profitability of the Company for the Financial Year to 30th June 2020 to be impacted. The Company’s balance sheet however remains strong, and this gives the Board the confidence that the Company has the right resources to continue to deliver the strategy.
Recall that Guinness Nigeria Plc reported revenue of N96.08 billion for the nine months that ended March 31, 2020, showing a fall of 5.3% compared with N101.40 billion recorded in the corresponding year of 2019.
In addition, financing cost rose by 97% to N3.582 billion compared to N1.817 billion recorded in 2019. Guinness Nigeria PLC ended the period with a profit after tax of N1.672 billion, plunging by 60% from N4.252 billion recorded in 2019.
This report has further dampened investors’ moral as its share price plunged to an all-time low of N14.20. As at the time this report was drafted, the company’s market capitalization was N32.199billion, with earnings per share standing at 1.18.
However, its price to book ratio, which is valued at 0.3571 and a dividend yield valued of 10.38% showed the stock was highly undervalued and had great potential in the long term.
You may download Guinness Nigeria’s notification of material circumstances by clicking here.