Major owner of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Atlas Mara Limited said its profit for the first quarter of the year rose to $24.0 million.
Atlas Mara said profit in the quarter benefitted from the inclusion of a one-off gain of $19.2 million related to the acquisition of additional shares in Union Bank of Nigeria.
This gain arose as a result of the fair value recognition of the shares acquired – which increased Atlas Mara’s shareholding from c. 45% to c. 48% – exceeding the purchase consideration paid.
On an adjusted profit after-tax basis (excluding one-off items accounted for in the first quarter of 2018, and with no M&A transaction expenses incurred), Atlas Mara generated $5.5 million for the period (2017: $5.2 million).
UBN performance showed continued improvement compared to Q1 2017, as shown in the Q1 2018 earnings statement released by UBN on 10 May 2018. Associate income of $26.3 million for the period (2017: $3.9 million) reflects Atlas Mara’s 48% shareholding in UBN on an equity accounted basis.
This includes the impact of the $19.2 million gain related to the acquisition of additional shares during the quarter. Excluding this gain, the contribution from UBN is $7.2 million, representing an 82.1% increase in the share of profits, which accounts for both a 20% growth in the earnings from UBN (on a USD basis) and the increased shareholding.
Commenting on the results, Bob Diamond, Chairman, said:
“We are pleased to report another profitable quarter, which affirms our unrelenting focus on executing in our business lines. As in the recent quarterly performance, we also see the increasing impact of UBN on the Group’s performance, thus validating our Nigeria strategy.
He add that “Since the end of the period, we have appointed John Staley to the position of Chief Executive Officer, effective 1 May 2018. John was previously Chief Operating Officer, Finance and Innovation, with Equity Group Holdings, the parent company of Equity Bank, until 2017. He brings with him strong experience in banking in Africa and particularly valuable expertise in technology and infrastructure. He joins us at an important stage of our growth.”