The United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc Board of Directors has approved the audited report and accounts of the bank for the year ended December 31, 2017. At the board meeting on Monday, the directors also approved the payment of final dividend for the 2017 business year.
The bank’s Group Company Secretary, Bili Odum, confirmed the approval of the audited report and proposal for dividend payment, noting that the approved audited report has been forwarded to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for endorsement.
He said the actual final dividend recommendation and the audited report would be released to the investing public after the approval of the apex bank.
UBA’s share price continued its rally on Monday with a gain of 1.56 per cent to close at N13 per share. Ahead of the board meeting, it had risen by 2.48 per cent at the weekend, 343 per cent above equities market’s average gain of 0.56 per cent. As the equities market staged its first rally in five days last Friday, UBA chalked up 31 kobo to close at N12.80 per share.
The All Share Index (ASI)-the benchmark index at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) recorded average gain of 1.22 per cent and 0.56 per cent on Monday and Friday respectively.
UBA’s share price rose by 129 per cent in 2017 while it has performed above average so far in 2018 with average year-to-date return of 24.3 per cent at the opening of the stock market on Monday.
Market sources said they expected the bank to increase its dividend payout, citing the improvement in the overall performance of the bank in 2017.
UBA had earlier paid an interim dividend of 20 kobo per share, after the audit of its 2017 half-year results. It declared a final dividend of 55 kobo per share, in addition to an interim dividend of 20 kobo for the 2016 business year.
As a mark of its sound corporate governance and in line with NSE Rule Book and the Amendments to the Listing Rules, UBA had announced commencement of its closed period on Friday, January 12, 2018, implying that directors, persons discharging managerial responsibility, employees with sensitive information, advisers and consultants of the bank and their connected persons may not directly or indirectly deal in the securities of the bank until 24 hours after the publication of its audited full year reports and accounts for 2017.
Key extracts of the interim report and accounts of the bank for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2017, showed that gross earnings rose by 26 per cent while pre and post tax profits grew by 33.2 per cent and 23 per cent respectively.
UBA’s gross earnings rose to N333.9 billion in third quarter 2017 as against N265.5 billion reported in corresponding period of 2016. Group’s operating income stood at N236.9 billion in 2017 compared with N183.3 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2016, representing a 29.3 per cent growth. Profit before tax jumped to N78.3 billion in 2017 as against N58.8 billion recorded in the similar period of 2016. Profit after tax grew from N49.5 billion in 2016 to N60.9 billion in 2017.
The balance sheet showed that while the group closed the third quarter with total assets of N3.77 trillion a year-to-date growth of 7.6 per cent, the bank prudently grew net loans to N1.6 trillion, a 6.0 per cent year-to-date growth in the loan book. Group’s shareholders’ fund grew by 13.3 per cent to N507.6 billion in 2017 while the annualised return on average equity stood at 18 per cent.
Under the enhanced listing rules at the NSE, which took effect on January 1, 2017, quoted companies are expected to submit their annual audited account to the Exchange not later than 90 calendar days after the relevant year end and published same in at least, two national daily newspapers not later than 21 calendar days before the date of the annual general meeting. They are also required to post same on their websites with the web address disclosed in the newspaper publications. Also, an electronic copy of the publication shall be filed with the Exchange on the same day as the publication.