United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has assured shareholders and investors of its unwavering commitment to sustaining its current growth trajectory even as its efforts at business diversification across Africa and beyond continue to yield increasing returns.

The Group Chairman, Tony Elumelu, who said this at UBA’s 60th yearly general meeting, which was held at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, yesterday, noted that the bank’s strategic investment decisions over the past few years have translated to huge returns for its investors, despite the challenging business environment witnessed in the last two years.

“I am proud of how, as a group, we have been able to further consolidate on the new capabilities we have built, novel customer solutions we have deployed, efficiency gains recorded and the growth prospects we have leveraged from a recovering world,” Elumelu stated, adding that “these were the building blocks for the very strong financial performance and growth delivered by your group in 2021, further confirming the wisdom of the investments we made and strategy we have pursued to ensure the diversification and sustainability of our business model”.

While expressing his delight to shareholders and customers who have stood with the bank for almost eight decades, Elumelu remained confident of the group’s capacity to sustain this momentum, especially as economic activities recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our goal is to continue to build strong brand loyalty with our customers and create additional value for our shareholders, whose underlying support has positioned UBA for continued growth,” he said.

The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Kennedy Uzoka, who reviewed the improved performance of the bank’s subsidiaries in detail, said: “We are happy that the global community recognises the role our group is playing in the transformation of the African economic landscape through innovative and customer-focused banking services.”

He pointed out that the bank’s business in the United Kingdom had specifically witnessed remarkable expansion, adding: “As from July 2021, UBA UK started making a profit, and even to date, they are still doing well. And the same can be said for many of our African subsidiaries. The truth is that we are driven by the opportunities and potential in each of the geographies that we invested in, and we are happy with what we have achieved so far.”

Shareholders who spoke at the meeting, including Sunny Nwosu, Farouk Umar, Nonah Awoh, Patrick Ajuda, Bisi Bakare and Timothy Adesiyan were unanimous in their commendations of the board and management of UBA over the impressive financials which have translated to higher dividends for shareholders.

“Despite the economic situation, UBA has been able to grow profitability and increase its customer base. If you compare the dividend with the share price of UBA, you will see that our dividend yield is very high. No bank in Nigeria has been able to achieve this, and I, therefore, commend the UBA board,” Umar noted.

At the end of the 2021 financial year, UBA’s profit before tax was impressive with a 20.3 per cent growth to N153.1 billion compared to N127.3 billion at the end of the 2020 financial year while profit after tax rose grew by 8.7 per cent to N118.7 billion compared to N109.2 billion recorded the previous year.

As a result, the bank proposed a final dividend of 80 kobo for every ordinary share of 50 kobo for the financial year ended December 31, bringing the total dividend for the year to N1, as the bank had earlier paid an interim dividend of 20 kobo.