Union Bank Nigeria declares first dividend in over 10 years

Union Bank

Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc has declared a dividend to its shareholders for the first time since 2008.

Specifically, the bank for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2019, declared a dividend of 25k .

The result published by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Thursday indicated that the dividend would be ratified at the bank’s 2019 Annual General Meeting.

Further analysis of the audited result showed that profit before tax rose by 33 per cent to ₦24.7 billion compared with ₦18.7 billion in the corresponding period of 2018.

Gross earnings inched 14 per cent to ₦159.9 billion against ₦140.1billion in 2018, driven by an increase in earning assets

Interest income increased by 11 per cent to ₦116.5 billion against ₦104.8 billion in 2018.

The bank’s customer deposits rose by five per cent to ₦886.3 billion from ₦844.4 billion in December 2018.

Commenting on the results, Mr Emeka Emuwa, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, said the performance paved the way for a critical milestone.

“The bank’s strong overall performance has paved the way for a critical milestone.

“With the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Board of Directors will recommend a dividend payment to shareholders for the first time in over a decade.

“Returning value to our shareholders has been at the core of Union Bank’s transformation and continuous drive to become a leading financial institution in Nigeria.

“The bank booked ₦98 billion in new loan assets in the course of the year, reflecting a 20 per cent growth to close at ₦595.3 billion in gross loans.

“As a result of our larger loan book and intensified recovery efforts, non-interest income grew by 23 per cent from ₦35.3 billion to ₦43.3 billion in the period with recoveries accounting for ₦8.8 billion of the total amount.

“Consistent with our vision to be Nigeria’s most reliable and trusted banking partner, we are optimising our business model to focus solely on Nigeria where we continue to invest and thrive.

Consequently, we have made the strategic decision to divest of our UK subsidiary, Union Bank UK which will enable us focus on the distinct long-term opportunities in the Nigerian market.

“The divestment is expected to be  concluded in 2020 subject to regulatory approvals in Nigeria and the UK,” Emuwa stated. (NAN)