UBA’s quarterly profit rises 29% to N53bn on rate hikes

United Bank for Africa (UBA) reported a profit surge of 29.1 per cent in the three months to March, profiting from a series of rate hikes by the Central Bank of Nigeria that helped strengthen interest income and boost the bottom line.

The pan-African lender saw interest income accelerate by more than half to N191.9 billion, a 53.4 percent increase from N 125.1 billion recorded at the same time in 2021 as six consecutive upward rate adjustments by the apex bank enabled banks to charge more for loans.

The CBN has increased the key interest rate six times since May cumulatively by 650 basis points to rein in inflation. Now at 18 percent, the benchmark rate is at its peak level since it was adopted in 2006.

Net interest income, a barometer for profitability measuring the difference between how much lenders earn from loans and what they pay to savers for keeping their deposits, increased by 40.9 percent to N119.6 billion from N84.9 billion.

Similarly, net trading and foreign exchange income improved by 74.5 percent to N26.1 billion on the back of increased yield from fixed-income securities.

Non-interest income increased during the period by 35.3 percent to N56.08 billion, driven by gains from investment securities, net fees and commission income, and FX trading.

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Operating income also increased to N175.7 billion in the three-month period from N125. 9 billion recorded in 2021, while net operating income after impairment loss on loans and receivables increased by 38.6 percent to N168.7 billion recorded in the three-month period from N121.7 billion recorded in 2021.

Operating expenses in the three-month period recorded rose to N107.307 billion from N77.6 billion in 2021, on the back of other operating expenses which recorded N69.4 billion, fuelled by a rise in costs incurred from fuel, repairs and maintenance.

Spending on fuel, repairs and maintenance recorded was N14 billion for the quarter, an increase of 63.8 percent compared to the same quarter of 2021.

UBA’s total assets rose to N11.4 trillion at the end of the first quarter of 2013, a 4.6 percent increase.

Customers’ deposits increased by 10.5 percent at the end of the first quarter to N8.65 trillion, from N7.8 trillion recorded in the same quarter of 201.

Cash and cash equivalents for the first quarter of 2023 increased to N1.14 trillion, from N713.9 billion recorded in the same quarter of 2021, on the back of money market placements which increased to N745.2 billion in Q1’23 from N 139.4 billion recorded in Q1’22.

Net cash generated from operating activities recorded at the end of the first quarter of 2023 increased by 83.7 percent to N 154.9 billion from N 84.3 billion recorded in the same period of 2022, while net cash used in investing activities decreased to N41.6 billion from N46.8 billion.

Net cash generated from financing activities reduced to N10 billion recorded at the end of the first quarter from N34.795

Its earnings per share grew by 29 percent to N1.47 compared to N1.14 reported in the same period of 2022.