Unity Bank Records 43% Increase in Profitability Q1-2021
Tomi Somefun, Unity Bank Chief Executive

Unity Bank Records 43% Increase in Profitability Q1-2021

After weak earnings outturn in the financial year 2020, Unity Bank Plc. has raised earnings profile as lender’s profitability expands by 43% in first quarter (Q1) 2021.  

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, Mrs. Tomi Somefun, disclosed in the Bank’s unaudited Q1-2021 results submitted to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Ltd., on Friday, in Lagos.

Strong earnings profile lifted bottom line as the Nigerian economy returns to growth after pandemic –induced economic stress in the financial year 2020.

The financials showed the retail lender’s profit before tax grew by 43% to N784.3 million from N550.1 million recorded in the corresponding period of 2020.

Also, profit after tax for the period grew by 43% to N721.5 million compared to the N506.1 million recorded in the same period of 2020.

There was a significant growth in loan book as net loans and advances to customers increased by 76% to N223.2 billion up from N126.6 billion recorded in the corresponding period.

Unity Bank total assets expanded by 42% 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 a Non-performing Loan (NPL) ratio of near zero % which it had consistently maintained over time after the bank sold off its bad assets.

The Bank recorded gross earnings of N11.5 billion, representing marginal decline of 3 % when compared to N11.9 billion posted in the corresponding period of 2020.

The remarkable 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 pandemic,” the bank Chief stated.

Also, other key highlights of the Q1 results included the cash and balances with the CBN which recorded a whopping 326% leap to close at N111.2 billion from N26.1 billion in the corresponding period of 2020.

Unity Bank grew its customer deposits by 13% to N348.3 billion up from N308.8 billion recorded in the period under review.

Interest and similar income jerked up marginally to N9.7 billion compared to N9.6 billion posted in the corresponding quarter of 2020.

However, net interest income recorded a 16% increase to N4.8 billion from N4.1 billion in the corresponding period of 2020.

In the period, total operating income recorded a growth of 3 % to N6.6 billion from N6.4 billion, even as the net operating income rose by 12% to close at N6.7 billion from N5.9 billion in Q1-2021.

Somefun said: “The first quarter result is a promising indication of better outcome for the year, profoundly reflecting the Bank’s renewed focus on driving efficiency and productivity.

“Anchored on targeted initiatives to grow both volume and quality of assets and offer a wide range of customer-centric products supported by novel technologies to its teeming and growing customers in all the six-geopolitical zones in Nigeria.

“The top-line performance was driven by improvement in net interest income margins which reported 16 % growth.

“The Bank is replicating the same momentum in the area of liability generation and to gain traction and 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”.

“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,” she added.

Unity Bank Profit Falls More than 38% to N20.86 Billion

Somefun also explained that: “The Bank will continue to play formidably and efficiently in the area of its strength, especially in the niche space of agribusiness, to get more involved in the value chain banking having firmly established its strong foothold in the financing of primary crop production.

“Such as rice, maize, cotton, wheat, sorghum, etc. coupled with their rich and robust structures in value creation.

She added “We hope to continue to expand on this as we play our part in driving the nation’s quest for self-sufficiency in food production, employment generation, foreign exchange conservation and all allied advantages that come with agribusiness.”

Unity Bank Records 43% Increase in Profitability Q1-2021