Union Bank of Nigeria Plc has unveiled its unaudited results for the quarter ended March 31, 2016.

Bank Financial Highlights For The Quarter:

Profit Before Tax (PBT): ₦4.7bn (₦4.9bn in Q1 2015); excluding gain on sale of subsidiaries*, increased by 85% to ₦4.7bn (₦2.5bn in Q1 2015).

Gross earnings: ₦26.6bn (₦29bn in Q1 2015); excluding gain on sale of subsidiaries*, at par with prior year at ₦26.6bn.

Interest income: up 5% to ₦21bn (₦20bn in Q1 2015) as a result of improvement in asset yield from 14.36% in Q1 2015 to 15.65% in Q1 2016.

Interest expense: down 16% to ₦6.6bn (₦7.9bn in Q1 2015) driven by a deliberate effort to manage funding costs, resulting in a reduction in primary cost of funds from 6.07% in Q1 2015 to 4.73% in Q1 2016.

Non-interest revenue: ₦5.6bn (₦9bn in Q1 2015); excluding Q1 2015 one-off gains, revenues are up 9% compared to normalised ₦5.1bn in Q1 2015, driven by trading and e-business fees.

Operating expenses: ₦14.2bn (₦13.7bn in Q1 2015), an expected increase of 3% , given budgeted investments in technology and network infrastructure.

Customer deposits: up 9% to ₦587.2bn (₦539.4bn Mar 2015) on the back of growing customer confidence in service and product offers as well as a re-energised brand identity.

Gross loans: up 2% to ₦383.6bn (₦375.6bn Mar 2015) reflects cautious loan growth in targeted sectors of the economy.

Commenting on the Bank’s first quarter results, Emeka Emuwa, Chief Executive Officer said:

“Our first quarter results reflect steady progress on the execution of our strategic priorities. The Bank’s core PBT in Q1 2016 is up significantly by 85% to ₦4.7bn compared to ₦2.5bn in the same quarter last year. With the sale of non-banking subsidiaries near completion, the Bank is now focused on growing and delivering results through its core banking business.

Customer deposits grew 9% in the year to March 2016, compared to March 2015, reflecting increased customer confidence in our service channels, new product offerings and a re-energised brand identity.

Our priorities to sustain growth in 2016 remain focused on growing our deposit base and new customer acquisitions, as well as driving gains in transactional income. We will continue leveraging the technology and operational platform we have invested in whilst proactively managing our risks and operational costs.”

Breaking down the Bank numbers, Chief Financial Officer, Oyinkan Adewale said:

“The Bank delivered strong results this first quarter. Our focus on customer deposit growth has led to 16% interest expense reduction as we rely more on low cost deposits to fund the bank. This trend is expected to continue and should moderate funding costs and improve net interest margins for 2016.

Non-interest revenue continues to grow, driven by securities trading, e-business and other transactional fees. Excluding 2015 one-off gains, we were able to grow core revenues by 9%.

Given our continuing investment in technology and network infrastructure, we have seen a slight increase of 3% in operating expenses this quarter compared to Q1 2015. This short term increase is expected to normalise over the course of the year.”