Unity Bank Plc has sustained the growth momentum demonstrated in its 2020 full year earnings as it recorded an impressive performance of 43 per cent in both profit before and after tax in Q1 2021.
In the bank’s unaudited Q1 2021 results submitted to the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) recently, the retail lender’s profit before tax grew by 43 per cent to N784.3 million, from N550.1 million recorded in the corresponding period of 2020.
Profit after tax for the period which also grew by 43 per cent stood at N721.5 million compared to the N506.1million recorded in Q1-2020.
As an outcome of increased focus on supporting local enterprises and industry, the asset portfolio also showed a significant growth in loan book of 76 per cent as net loans and advances to customers increased to N223.2 billion, up from N126.6 billion recorded in the corresponding period.
The total assets of the bank for the period showed an appreciable growth of 42 per cent to close at N521.5 billion, from N366.8 billion in the corresponding period of 2020.
The balance sheet of the bank had been considerably de-risked with an NPL ratio of near zero per cent which it had consistently maintained over time, thus making it to rank as one of the best in risk management and credit creation culture.
Also, the bank recorded gross earnings of N11.5 billion, representing marginal decline of three per cent, when compared to N11.9 billion posted in the corresponding period of 2020.
“The positive growth in profit and other strong indicators recorded in Q1-2021 is a sign of the Bank’s growing resilience as the economy continues on a recovery path following the impacts of COVID-19 pandemics,” a statement explained.
Other key highlights of the Q1-2021 results included the cash and balances with the Central Bank which recorded a whopping 326 per cent leap to close at N111.2 billion from N26.1 billion in the corresponding period of 2020.
The lender also grew its customer deposits by 13 per cent to N348.3billion up from N308.8billion recorded in the period under review, a strong indication of the growing popularity and acceptance of the Bank’s array of innovative products and services and the arrays of new technologies deployed in its operations to enhance high level of customers’ experience and service delivery.
Commenting on the result, the Managing Director/CEO, Unity Bank Plc, Mrs. Tomi Somefun said the first quarter result was an indication of better outcome for the year.
The top-line performance was driven by improvement in net interest income margins which reported 16 per cent growth. To this, Somefun stated that the bank was replicating same momentum in the area of liability generation and to gain traction.
“We are targeting opportunities across regions and identified segments in retail and SMEs whilst optimising our technology and digital platforms such as Omni-channel UniFi, USSD *7799# to deliver bundled product bouquet, operational efficiency and improved unparalleled customer service delivery. Like the multi-language service channels, customers are to expect more innovations as the year unfolds”.
Looking ahead, the Unity Bank’s Chief further stated: “The bank will consolidate on the gains it has made on its assets growth and further build the franchise of the brand in many areas of the business to shake off any lethargy to galvanize efficiency across its earning assets, thereby diversifying its earnings base to further grow the bottom-line”.