Unity Bank CEO Optimistic Retail Footprint, Tech’ll Boost Earnings Growth

The Managing Director/Chief Executive of Unity Bank Plc, Mrs. Tomi Somefun, on Friday expressed optimism that given the increased focus on growing its retail footprints, supported by significant investment in technology to expand its digital banking space, the growing contribution of the channels and platforms delivery will further boost the multiple streams of income in the coming years.

A statement on the bank’s audited financials for the year-ended December 31, 2021, quoted her as noting that “the bank’s growing profile in agribusiness has now placed it on a pedestal that enables it to attract significant value chain businesses for the continuous growth of its retail and SME banking whilst the bank consistently deploys product development/marketing initiatives to further grow the brand franchise, maximise the benefits and boost retail growth to double digits.”

Overall, positive sentiments around the repositioning of the bank and the outcome, the statement added, continue to dominate opinion among analysts as informed by the outlook for the future and as market confidence continues to improve.

Commenting specifically on the result, she stated that the key performance indicators have continued on a trajectory of healthy balance sheet growth, asset quality and profitability achieved on the back of deft diversification of the bank’s earnings base that balances out fairly in asset creation, investments and trade activities and riding on the innovative customer-centric product offerings for both the retail and consumer segments of the market

Unity Bank Plc’s gross earnings rose by 8.1% to N50.28 billion from N46.52 billion in 2021, while profit before tax stood at N3.33bn in the financial year ended December 2021, indicating a more significant 49.9% improvement over the N2.22bn recorded in 2020. Profit after tax also recorded a 52.1% growth to N3.17bn, which translated to Earnings per Share of 27.15 Kobo; from N2.09bn recorded in the corresponding period of 2021.

This, the bank noted, comes on the heels of a faster than expected recovery from the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, which provided an opportunity for the lender to expand its retail footprint through strategic product offerings that appealed to broader segments of the market.

Another key highlight of the financial performance, the agribusiness-focused lender, added, was the 9.5% growth in its assets to close at N538.87bn, from N482.02bn in 2020, cumulating three years of consecutive high growth. Also, assets by 39% and 67.9% in 2019 and 2020 respectively to see a rebound with an even greater resurgence in the lender’s profitability for two successive years.

Also, in the year under review, Unity Bank grew its loan portfolio by a significant 33.2% to N269.27bn from N202.08bn, following what it called an aggressive focus on boosting its liquid assets base.

Another top-line performance of the audited financial statements recorded was growth in net operating income to N28.41bn, from N21.3bn in the corresponding period of 2020, representing a 10.9% increase. This is even as the net interest income recorded a significant jump by 12.2 percent to N20.05 billion from N17.74 billion in the corresponding period of 2020.

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