April 1, 2021
By Evan CHARLES InvestAdvocate
Lagos I(NVESTADVOCATE)-Shareholders of Africa’s global lender, the United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) on Thursday endorsed 35 kobo per share dividend offered by for the period ended December 31, 2020 coming on the heels of the conclusion of the 59th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at its corporate headquarters in Lagos Nigeria.
The declared final dividend of N0.35 kobo for every ordinary share of 50 kobo, brings the total dividend for the year to N0.52 kobo as the bank had paid an interim dividend of N0.17 kobo earlier in the year.
Qualification and closure date has been scheduled for March 19 and March 22, 2021 respectively, while payment date is scheduled for April 1, 2021 after the AGM.
Still on the positive side, the shareholders at the meeting commended the bank’s decision to plough-back some of its profits into business consolidation, adding that these times call for prudent and effective management of financial resources for all businesses especially those with high shareholding rate such as UBA.
Sunny Nwosu, National Leader Emeritus, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) who spoke at the meeting, commended the board and management of the bank company for keeping up with its activities despite the Covid-19 pandemic and its resultant effect on major businesses.
He advised the company to gear up efforts to increase dividends in the next financial year, while praising the Africa’s global lender for ensuring that the African subsidiaries performed well by contributing 55 percent to the Group’s business.
Nonah Awoh, frontline shareholder on his part agreed with the improvement recorded from the bank’s Ex-Nigeria’s subsidiaries; but encouraged the management to boost other subsidiaries with the needed resources to help them perform even better in the current financial year.
Tony Elumelu, UBA’s group chairman, assured its teeming shareholders and investors of even greater returns in the coming months, with the bank having established a diversified business model that ensures impressive performance even in periods of uncertainty, across its geographical network.
According to him, UBA has made strategic decisions that will strengthen its resolve to earn the industry leadership that it has envisioned in Nigeria, Africa and globally.
“We spearheaded strategic investments in our digital banking and technology platforms to further promote self-service banking; we have also focused on enhancing the capabilities of our people through various online capacity development programmes,” Elumelu added, “Our African operations (ex-Nigeria) have contributed approximately 55% of our profits for the year, illustrating that we are truly a pan-African bank,” a statement from the bank said.
Elumelu further explained that the bank remains committed to ensuring its viability amid an ever-changing business environment and to continue be a role model for African businesses by showcasing the best of Africa to the world. “The work we have done in strengthening our governance structures Group-wide and in improving our business and operating models in 2020 positions our bank to benefit from these recovery trends and to achieve significant market share gains across our operations,” he noted.
Kennedy Uzoka, UBA’s managing director/CEO, said the reduced dividend pay-out this year, was a strategy for the bank to further strengthen the business.
He said, “As an institution that has been in operations for 72 uninterrupted years, UBA wants to continue to perform optimally. In line with this, we have used most of our funds to prepare for unforeseen challenges. Given the trajectory and the resilience of our business, we can assure you that we will meet and surpass the expectation of you our shareholders.”
Continuing, he said, “We have recalibrated our business structure, starting from Lagos and extending to the South-South. We have bolstered them with the necessary leadership to achieve our aim. We believe that with these measures we have put in place, our Nigerian business will give the rest of Africa a good fight,” Uzoka said.
The Africa’s global lender, posted a rise profit after tax (PAT) for the period ended December 31, 2020 of +27.7 percent to N113.7 billion from N89.1 billion recorded a year ago.
Profit before tax (PBT) grew 18.5 percent to N131.8 billion from N111.3 billion declared the same period of 2019.
Gross earnings of UBA increased from N560 billion in the 2019 year end to N620 billion posted in the review period of 2020; showing an increase of 10.7 percent, the lender said in a filing with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).