Nigeria’s retail lender, Unity Bank Plc has declared half-year result posting gross earnings of 23.6 billion Naira, which is a 3% increase compared with the corresponding period of 2020.
A review of the unaudited half year result (H1’2021) released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the Agric-focused lender showed notable improvement across key financial matrices. The Bank grew bottom-line by 34% as Profit before Tax (PBT) moved up significantly in positive territory to close at N1.50 billion from N1.12 billion recorded in H2 2020.
Similarly, the Profit After Tax, PAT closed at N1.38 billion within the period under review from N1.03 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2020, a sign of a stronger recovery in the overall economy and the Bank’s key focus market segment after a disruptive pandemic year.
A major highlight of the result is the growth in the Bank’s loan book, which saw a 22% increase to N246.90 billion within the period compared to N202.08 billion recorded in H2 2020.
The lender also sustained growth trajectory in its assets as total assets for the period rose by 11% to N547.37 billion from N492.02 billion as of December 31, 2020.
Other highlights of the financial statement include a 21% jump in fee and commission income to N3.07 billion from N2.54 billion in the corresponding period of 2020; and N9.87 billion upticks in net interest incomes, representing a 9% increase from the N9.06 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2020.
Interest and similar income also rose though recording a marginal 2% growth to close at N20.27 billion compared to the N19.79 billion recorded in half-year 2020. Earnings per share rose by 3 kobo to close at 11.82 Kobo within the period compared to 8.82 Kobo recorded in the corresponding period of 2020.
The financial report also contained the details of the three months to June 2021 (Q2 2021) report showed that the Bank recorded a 17% leap in gross income to N12.32 billion from N10.50 billion recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2020.
Pre-tax profit for the period closed at N718.0 million, a 31% increased from N546.35 million recorded in Q2 2020, while Profit After Tax equally closed at N660.57 million from N502.65 million recorded in the corresponding review period.
Commenting on the result, the Managing Director/CEO, Unity Bank Plc, Mrs. Tomi Somefun noted encouraging trends in key performance indicators driving the numbers reported in the H1 result, in that the Bank is beginning to reflect greater consistency, steady outlook and resilience that places it on a performance pedestal ahead of the volatilities in the operating environment occasioned partly by the prevailing global pandemic and other market shocks that have far-reaching implications in the local and foreign economies.
The double digits growth recorded in both earnings and profits, she further added, was the result of a portfolio plan which the Bank set out in the beginning of the year to diversify its portfolio whilst incrementally pursuing asset creation in petrochemical downstream, consumer, healthcare and general commerce with agribusiness providing the bulwark for identified business and brand benefits.
She stated that the Bank will be looking to strengthen its balance sheet from the liability side as it continues to grow its brand franchise in many areas of the retail market by promoting and leveraging its Agriculture value chain businesses as an offshoot to achieve better performance ratios that enable it expand the scope of business for even greater outcome.
Analysts share the optimism on the growth trajectory achieved on the back of contributions from diverse portfolio investments which is a radical departure from the past.