UBL reports 44 per cent growth in profit for 1st Quarter 2021

F.P. Report

KARACHI: UBL maintains one of the largest network footprints by any Bank in Pakistan. Through its 1,348 branches 1,423 ATMs and market leading Digital App, we serve over 10 million customers across all segments of the country.

On a standalone basis, UBL recorded Profit Before Tax (PBT) of Rs. 12.2 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2021, up 44% over the corresponding period of last year. Earnings per share (EPS) were measured at Rs. 6.05 (Q1’20: Rs. 4.13). The Bank enhanced its dividend payout, declaring dividends of over Rs.4.9 billion for the quarter (Rs. 4 per share), 60% higher than Q1’2020. The Bank’s capital position continues to strengthen with the Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) recorded at 23.8% as at Mar’21 (Dec’20: 24.4%), an excess of 11.3% over the regulatory minimum. Gross revenues were recorded at Rs. 22.6 billion for Q1’21, growing by 3% over Q1’20, despite margin compression from lower interest rates.

The bank recorded net interest income (NII) of Rs 16.9 billion for Q1’21 (Q1’20: Rs 17.3 billion). Non-markup income was recorded at Rs. 5.8 billion for Q1’21, up 24% on a year-on-year basis, as a result of timely realization of capital gains on foreign sovereign bonds and equities.

Domestic deposits averaged Rs. 1.4 trillion in Q1’21, with a year on year growth of 19%. The increase is mainly due to the strong growth of 20% in average CASA deposits, which stood at Rs. 1.2 trillion for Q1’21, with a net increase of over Rs. 200 billion year-on-year. The bank continued its momentum in acquiring new to bank (NTB) customers, as it added approx. 159,000 new current account relationships in Q1’21 (Q1’20: 127,000). This resulted in the average current deposits growing by 25% year on year to Rs. 609 billion in Q1’21. Domestic average savings deposits were measured at Rs. 582 billion, a strong growth of 15% year on year. As a result, the average domestic CASA ratio improved from 84.6% in Q1’20 to 85.6% in Q1’21.

This aggressive focus on low cost deposits build up as well as the reduction in benchmark rates resulted in a sharp reduction in domestic cost of deposits from 6.4% in Q1’20 to 3.4% in Q1’21. The bank’s net advances stood at Rs. 541 billion as at March 31, 2021, down 13% over the previous year. UBL’s government securities holdings grew to over Rs. 1.2 trillion, an increase of 40% over the previous year, with Rs. 614 billion invested in fixed and floating rate Pakistan Investment Bonds and Rs. 510 billion deployed within Treasury Bills.

UBL maintained its leadership in the home remittance space, with a market share of approximately 21%. As part of SBP’s initiative to provide innovative banking solutions to non-resident Pakistanis (NRPs), UBL is actively supporting the Roshan Digital Account, with over USD 89 million in remittances routed through UBL by March End. The Bank has also been recognized by the government for its efforts in opening the highest number of Roshan Digital Accounts, which is a testament to UBL’s service quality and brand loyalty with NRPs.

UBL was recently recognized as the “Bank of the Year 2020” at the Banker Awards. The Banker is an affiliate of the Financial Times UK and is the world’s leading financial publication. UBL won the award, for the fourth time within a decade, on the back of its contribution in innovating and expanding the scope of financial services in Pakistan.

UBL was declared Pakistan’s Best Digital Bank for the second year in a row by Asiamoney, an associate of Euromoney. UBL was also declared the ‘Best Digital Bank’ at the 2020 Pakistan Banking Awards. These successive wins are a tribute to UBL’s commitment to digitally transform itself while offering the most innovative and value driven financial products and services. The awards recognize UBL’s position as Pakistan’s leading progressive and innovative Bank.

Commenting on the results, Mr. Shazad G. Dada, President & CEO of UBL said “We have started 2021 on strong footing with a 44% growth in profits. Economic activity is picking up and UBL continues to play a leading role in the expansion of financial services across the country. Our strategy is focused on investment in our core businesses, building greater operational efficiencies and agility across the organization and continue investing in the development of our people.

UBL’s branch network, generating 25% growth in current deposits, remains the cornerstone of the UBL franchise. The network is supported by our award winning digital proposition, where we continue to innovate and make banking easier and more accessible for our customers. Customer centricity remains at the heart of everything we do and we will continue to build on our core competencies as a Bank to deliver a strong 2021.”