AHLI UNITED BANK RECORDS A 37% INCREASE IN NET PROFITS TO US$ 94.3 MILLION FOR THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2008
Ahli United Bank B.S.C. (AUB) has announced another record net profit of US$ 94.3 million for the first quarter ended 31 March 2008 representing an increase of 37% over the same period in 2007 (US$ 68.9 million).
AUB’s prudent risk management approach enabled it to avoid the prevailing global market turmoil and to sustain quarter on quarter profit growth momentum with its total operating income increasing by 52.6% to US$ 209.7 million as compared to same period last year (Q1/2007 – US$ 137.4 million) primarily attributable to core earnings arising from the Group’s operations in its seven core markets (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Egypt, Iraq and UK) and from its ability to tap cross-border deal flows between these markets.
Containing operating costs remained a challenging task in an inflationary economic environment. Investments in technology and cross group synergies achieved have enabled AUB to improve the cost-to-income ratio from 35.2% (Q/1-2007) to 32.7% in the current quarter.
Basic earnings per ordinary share of US cents 2.1 was maintained at the same level as the previous period, despite the massive increase in number of shares resulting from mandatory conversion of 50% of Class A Preference Shares and Tranche-I of Class B Preference Shares to ordinary shares as at 1 January 2008 under the terms of the respective Issues. Dilutive earnings per ordinary share increased by 23.5% to US cents 2.1 (Q1/2007:US cents 1.7 per share).
The Group’s total assets at 31 March 2008 stood at US$ 25.1 billion, an increase of 9.1% over US$ 23.0 billion reported in 31 December 2007 funded largely by a higher growth in customers’ deposits which rose by US$ 1.4 billion (+13.5%) over 31 December 2007. The growth in assets is reflected in the increase in the loans portfolio to US$ 13.1 billion, an increase ¬¬of 9.2% over 31 December 2007.
“The bank’s first quarter results are very encouraging and reflects the continued success of the Bank’s business model built on a focused profit driven M & A strategy along with a strong continued organic growth sustained through cross selling of its products across its expanded regional network of subsidiaries and managed affiliates” stated Fahad Al-Rajaan, Chairman of Ahli United Bank.
“Earlier this month, we signalled our intention to enter the insurance industry with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the UK based Legal & General Group Plc. The joint venture is targeting to offer a comprehensive range of takaful insurance products to customers in the Gulf region in a phased manner, subject to necessary regulatory approvals. AUB’s decision to enter the insurance market reinforces Bank’s commitment to diversify its product offerings and to provide our customers with more comprehensive financial solutions.”
“AUB’s performance continued to be recognised by the international financial industry; we were awarded the ‘Best Bank in the Middle East 2008’ by Global Finance, the third consecutive year AUB has received this prestigious accolade.” Al-Rajaan added.