UBL continues its momentum with solid results with Profit After Tax of Rs. 13.9 billion for Q1’23 as against Rs. 9.5 billion for Q1’22, with a growth of 46% year on year. Earnings per share (EPS) stood at Rs. 11.36 for Q1’23 compared to Rs. 7.78 for Q1’22. The Board of Directors, in their meeting held in Islamabad on April 28, 2023, declared a consistently strong dividend payout of Rs. 11.0 per share for Q1’23. UBL maintains healthy capital levels as the Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) stood at 17.6% as at Mar’23, an excess of 5.6% over regulatory minimum requirements and ROE of 28% (Mar’22: 23%).
UBL records strong growth of 49% in top line revenues & increased vigilance on costs
The Bank’s gross revenues stood at Rs. 42.0 billion, growing by 49%, driven by the buildup in the deposit base and a well-positioned investment portfolio. The Bank earned net markup income of Rs. 33.3 billion in Q1’23, up 55% year on year due to a robust growth in average earning assets and improvement in Net interest margins (NIMs) from 4.3% to 5.2% in Q1’23.
Non-Fund Income (NFI) was reported at Rs. 8.8 billion for Q1’23, contributing 21% to total gross revenues. Fee and commission income of Rs. 4.3 billion was earned in Q1’23, an increase of 11% primarily from fees from branch banking operations, income from debit and credit card fees and doubling of income from trade and guarantee business. The Bank earned foreign exchange income of Rs. 4.3 billion for Q1’23 as against Rs. 1.3 billion last year, due to proactive balance sheet positioning and active trading.
UBL remains the preferred partner to overseas Pakistanis who continue to place their trust in UBL. As a result, the Bank recorded a market share of over 21% within the home remittances space with a net commission income of Rs. 503 million earned in Q1’23.
Despite significant inflationary pressures, UBL improved its cost to income ratio to 35% from 42% last year with a tight control on expenses and continued to focus on cost saving initiatives.
Serving the nation with one of the largest branch networks in Pakistan
UBL continues to serve its expanding customer base with a footprint of 1,343 branches (Pakistan: 1,335), deposits of over Rs. 2.1 trillion and net advances of Rs. 711 billion as at Mar’23. In 2023, the bank’s focus remained on building its core deposits with a robust growth of 12% in average current deposits. As a result, the average current to total deposits ratio improved to 47.1% in Q1’23 (up from 45%) and strong CASA ratio of 90%.
UBL remains committed to playing its intermediation role within the economy, with average performing advances growing by 31% to Rs. 826 billion mainly due to strong build up across the Corporate segments. The Bank continued its build up in business scale across the Islamic banking space as the segment loan book averaged Rs. 84 billion for Q1’23, growing by 36%.
UBL Ameen – Islamic business scaling up well with wider footprint in target markets
Islamic banking remains a key priority and UBL continues to expand within this fast-growing segment. UBL Ameen’s branch network stands at 150 branches and is further supported by over 500 Islamic Banking Windows (IBWs) within commercial branches (219 IBWs in Dec’22). This has led to a 15.7% year on year growth in UBL Ameen average deposit base of Rs. 169 billion as at Mar’23. The bank sees the Islamic segment as a tremendous growth opportunity and will continue to aggressively expand UBL Ameen’s footprint.
Digital Banking – Continues to earn accolades as the market leader
The Bank maintains its focus on building its award-winning digital banking services which have been acknowledged as one of the best in Pakistan. UBL’s digital services envision a word class service proposition for its banking customers, with ease and convenience across all digital channels. The bank has been recognized by national and international institutions for its Mobile banking, Payment initiatives, Augmented and Virtual Reality financial services.
In 2023, the number of financial transactions has increased by 76% accounting for almost 20 million transactions while the value of financial transactions has grown by 91% to over Rs. 1.0 trillion YTD Mar’23. In addition, 50% of the active customers of the bank have shifted towards digital channels which is a clear indication of where the future for banking services lies.
Commenting on the results, Mr. Shazad G. Dada, President & CEO of UBL said:
“Our results are a testament of the focus we place on delivering strong shareholder value to our investors and world class service to our customers. We have performed solidly across all core segments and continued to build on our technology platforms and award-winning digital banking capabilities. Our competitive edge remains in establishing ourselves as a reliable business partner to our valued clients, leveraging our network to identify growth opportunities and on our continued investment in our human resources. In these challenging times, we have been fiscally prudent and increased our vigilance on controlling costs which are reflected in the strong improvement in our cost to income ratios. However, none of this could have been achieved without the extraordinary efforts of our 13,500+ staff. I am proud of their resilience, commitment and dedication which remains at the heart of our success.”