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By Dedeigbo Ayodeji
Nigerian lender, Unity Bank Plc has declared gross earnings of N36.18Billion for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2021, and a 23% growth of PAT totalling N1.94Billion for the same period.
A review of the unaudited results for the 3rd Quarter of 2021 released to the Nigerian Exchange Group Limited showed that the Bank’s gross earnings of N36.18Billion represents a moderate 7% growth from N33.9 Billion recorded in the same period in 2020.
Also, with the strong performance recorded during the period under review buoyed by a 31% growth in its loan book to N265.32Billion from N202.08Billion recorded in 2020, the lender also grew its asset base by 17% to N574.56Billion from N492.02Billion recorded in December 2020.
The Bank’s Profit Before Tax for the period under review grew by 23% to N2.11Billion from N1.71Billion in the corresponding period in 2020.
This sterling performance comes amid fragile recovery and volatilities in the operating environment and key macroeconomic indicators following the global Covid-19 pandemic, weak market sentiments and inflationary trends, as well as tough regulatory headwinds that have impacted severely on economic activities.
The lender also substantially grew its net interest income to N14.63Billion from N12.67Billion in the same period in 2020; creating a 15% uptick from the value of the Bank’s rising loan portfolio and an improvement in its transaction banking activities with its customers, achieved through excellent service delivery.
The lender’s fees and commissions averaged 16% to report an increase of N4.56Billion from N3.92Billion within the period under review, attributable to a dividend of the Bank’s strategic retail play which has boosted transaction volume.
Commenting on the result, Unity Bank’s Managing Director/CEO, Mrs. Tomi Somefun expressed satisfaction with the performance indices of the Q3/2021 financials. Particularly inspiring are the growing loan book and quality of assets (31% growth), cash and balances with the CBN (24% growth) and PBT (23% growth), altogether adding to the consecutive growth of the balance sheet in the last couple of years.
In her overall assessment, she stated that “the market is increasingly beginning to see the efforts in the strategic refocussing of our business and diversification of our earnings base which is translating into tangible results even as we strive to meet the expectations of our esteemed customers and cherished stakeholders.
“In addition, she said that while the Bank’s focus on agribusiness has provided both brand and business benefits while the institution has also made significant investment in the development of the retail market in order to grow its market share in various target segments by scaling up operations in the niche market.”
Somefun also stated that the Bank shall remain dynamic by embracing current and emerging market trends in technology, effectively targeting the youth market, driving financial inclusion in the women segment, developing robust product marketing to create value through a focus on digital strategies to facilitate transaction and e-banking channels.
Looking ahead, Mrs. Somefun stated: “We are optimistic that nothing will threaten to upend the current COVID-19 recovery, especially as the Bank is poised towards building an increased momentum to ride the wave of the economic headwinds, even as the growing inflationary pressures and the soaring energy prices still remain a concern.
According to the Unity Bank’s boss, “Ours is a continuous balancing act and revolutionary performance towards repositioning the business nationwide via tapping into emerging opportunities across the banking space, including the digital financial services spheres”.
Analysts believe that the consistent growth trajectory in the Bank’s balance sheet as shown in Q1, H1 and Q3, 2021 results continue to reinforce growing market confidence as well as demonstrates the commitment and drive of the management to enhance shareholder’s value.