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Ahli United Bank posts $266 million net profit

MANAMA: Ahli United Bank (AUB) saw its profit soar by 32 per cent as it benefited from actions it took over the period.

The bank yesterday posted a net profit of $265.5 million, up from $200.7m the previous year. This includes a fourth-quarter profit of $64.4m, well ahead of the $17.1m net profit achieved in the same quarter of 2009.

These results were primarily delivered through a structured build up of risk assets with solid interest margins leading to a 9pc growth in the net interest income.

The group also benefited from enhanced cross-border synergies on the commercial and private banking fronts and from a 26.5pc higher share of profits from managed associates during the year.

Asset quality levels improved resulting in a lower non-performing loan ratio of 2.4pc against 2.8pc at the end of 2009. Impairment provisions of $151.7m compared to $228.1m in 2009.

The basic and dilutive earnings per ordinary share for the year was 5.4 cents.

The board is recommending a cash dividend of 2.5 cents per share against two cents last time.

The group's resultant return on average equity was 12pc, compared to the 9.6pc in 2009.

The return on average assets also improved from 0.9pc for 2009 to 1.2pc.

Total assets grew by 12.2pc, reaching $26.5 billion from $23.6bn at the end of 2009, with the loans and advances portfolio registering an increase of 8.9pc to $14.5bn.

This increase was achieved with a focus on portfolio diversification and on prudent lending criteria.

The credit growth was funded by a 12pc growth in customer deposits to reach $14.8bn.

The bank also improved its funding maturity profile by elongating the majority of its $800m term debt maturing in October 2011 and through securing a number of bilateral financing arrangements.

"Last year hopefully marks the beginning of a sustainable turnaround in AUB's financial performance," said chairman Fahad Al Rajaan.

"The future shows a number of improving trends and we are optimistic that AUB can continue to build on its organic and inorganic strategies going forward in a prudent manner.

The reaffirmation of AUB credit ratings as A- (stable) by S&P and Fitch as well as A (stable) by Capital Intelligence bears testament to AUB's strong underlying business fundamentals and effective control framework."



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