The Group Managing Director of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Mr. Phillips Oduoza, said Friday that the expansion of the financial institution into many African countries had helped to diversify its risks and would guarantee steady earnings.
Speaking at the 50th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos, Oduoza said UBA has subsidiaries in 18 other African countries, noting that these subsidiaries would contribute 50 per cent of its earnings in the very near future.
According to him, by the end of March 31, 2012, 15 of the subsidiaries were already making profits, explaining that by the end of current financial year all the subsidiaries would have become profitable.
The GMD told the shareholders the expansion programme has been completed, assuring them it was now harvest time.
"Our African expansion programme has been completed. The programme enabled us to reinforce our businesses in each of our operating countries in order to deepen our penetration, achieve positive contribution to the Group's profitability and deliver commensurate returns on invested capital. With the expansion, we have diversified our operations and spread our risks beyond Nigeria, which is majorly a mono product economy for now," he said.
Oduoza reassured the shareholders of the determination of the UBA to pay a dividend at the end of the current financial year, stating that a strategic plan had already be put in place by the management to achieve positive results in 2012 and the years beyond.
According to him, the executive management of UBA had a retreat to define some five-year strategic objective as well as the business priorities for the bank.
"In the end the bank maintained that it would continue to pursue its three-tier strategic intent of: being the dominant and clear leader in the financial services industry in Nigeria; being a leading African Bank(shift from expansion to business consolidation phase) and establishing a global presence," he said.
Earlier in his address, Chairman of the UBA, Mr. Israel Ogbue, UBA ended the 2011 financial year with growth of 4.1 per cent in gross earnings from N178 billion to N185 billion.
"However, the bank concluded the year with a net loss of N10.5 billion due to the disposal of some of our non-performing loans to Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). But the bank has delivered strong risk ratio thus providing a strong platform for exception performance in 2012. Capital adequacy ratio was over 21 per cent compared with 17 per cent in 2010 and regulatory minimum of 10 per cent," he said.