By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Despite the economic headwinds that affected many businesses in the 2022 financial year, Unity Bank Plc gave its shareholders something to savour as its performance improved in the period under review.
In the audited full-year financial statements of the company for 2022 submitted to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, it was observed that gross earnings grew by 13.1 per cent to N57 billion from N50.2 billion in 2021, as the pre-tax profit stood at N1.1 billion and the net profit at N941.4 million.
A brief analysis showed that the total comprehensive income expanded by 262.1 per cent to N1.2 billion from N744 million in the corresponding period of 2021, as the 7.5 per cent increase in the loan book to N289.4 billion from N269.3 billion resulted in the improvement in interest and similar income to N48.9 billion from N43.2 billion.
Similarly, income from fees and commissions recorded significant growth, rising by 25.7 per cent to N7.68 billion from N6.1 billion.
More so, deposits from customers saw marginal growth, increasing by 1.6 per cent to N327.4 billion from N322.2 billion, as the lender pushes for deeper penetration of its retail footprint with the rollout of products targeting different market segments.
Meanwhile, Unity Bank also released its unaudited financials for Q1, 2023, in which it sustained improved performance, posting a 21 per cent growth in profit after tax to N1.04 billion from N869.2 million. Its gross earnings for the quarter also rose by 17 per cent to N15.9 billion, in contrast to the N13.6 billion posted a year earlier.
Commenting on the financial statements, the Managing Director/CEO of Unity Bank Plc, Mrs Tomi Somefun, noted that the bank’s focus on building back momentum continues to reflect in the key performance indicators despite economic headwinds and volatilities that characterized the operating environment in the 2022 financial year.
“There are highs and lows as we look at the gross earnings, with 13.7 per cent growth, increase in liquid assets by 7.5 per cent and deposits recording moderate growth of 1.6 per cent, while maintaining steady growth in profitability,” she stated.
“Overall, the financial statement thus threw up both strong and less optimal points which inform the outlook for our business,” she further stated.
She reassures that going into the new financial year, the bank will focus on our strategic choices and key growth drivers to push all the indices and elevate growth to double-digit territory.
“The performance posted for Q1’23 in terms of the PBT, gross earnings, and other key indicators are strong reinforcement of adequate measures being adopted and a testament of our resolve to sustain and equally improve upon the fundamental initiatives adopted to strengthen growth throughout the financial year,” Mrs Somefun stated.
She further said: “Since late 2022, the Bank has begun significant investment in technology and innovation in line with its strategic pursuits to win in the retail space with our focus on digital and lifestyle banking, dynamic product development, and accelerated onboarding.
“As part of our transformation journey, we will double down on these investments in the coming months to achieve our aspirations of (1) significantly reducing customer pain points and simplifying customer experience; (2) increasing the rate of customer acquisition; (3) expanding the frontiers of partnerships; and (4) ultimately developing new and sustainable income lines for the bank.”
According to her, the bank will further give attention to fast-paced process automation, cost and resource efficiency, targeted value chain relationships, and brand visibility as it expands the range of products and services to meet the evolving needs of its esteemed customers.
Analysts believe that the growing retail footprint driving the repositioning strategy of the bank aligns with the market expectations, which is also reflected in the increasing uptake of the bank’s offering.