AHLI UNITED BANK REPORTS NET PROFIT OF US$ 85.9 MILLION FOR THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2009
Amidst the current very challenging and difficult business environment, Ahli United Bank B.S.C. (AUB) has maintained its usual prudent and conservative approach to risk taking together with an even more focused risk management strategy within the existing business model. This led to AUB reporting a net profit, attributable to its equity shareholders, of US$85.9 million for the first quarter of 2009, (Q1/2008: US$94.3 million). The results show a rise of 10.7% in total operating income to a record quarterly level of US$212.6 million while operating costs declined by 11.8% during the quarter. Overall, the reported net profit includes a net provisions charge of US$47.0 million (Q/1-08: US$10.1 million) with the increase mainly as a result of AUB prudently raising additional collective impairment provisions of US$ 39.0 million relating to its loans and advances portfolio.
The cost to income ratio improved significantly to 28.4% as a result of the surge in operating income (Q/1-08: 35.7%) besides, the Group’s Return on Average Equity improving to 17.1% as compared to 16.8% earned in the first quarter of 2008. The Return on Average Assets for the Group stood at 1.7%. The resultant basic and diluted earnings per share stood at US cents 1.8 for the current quarter ended 31 March 2009 (US cents 2.0 for the quarter ended 31 March 2008).
The Group’s total assets at 31 March 2009 stood at US$24.0 billion, a marginal increase of 1.7% over US$23.6 billion reported as at 31 December 2008. Loans and advances portfolio, as a result of the prudent and conservative risk stance adopted under the current uncertain market conditions declined marginally by 1.5% to US$13.4 billion(31December 2008: US$13.6 billion) with the continuing enhanced focus on the funding profile resulting in the growth in customers’ deposits by US$ 1.0 billion (+6.8%) since the 2008 year-end.
“It is indeed encouraging to start a very challenging year on a satisfactory note under the current challenging operating environment. We are particularly satisfied with the growth in operating income, the deepening of funding sources and the excellent management of costs across all business lines.” said Fahad Al-Rajaan, Chairman of Ahli United Bank.
“Our prudent and disciplined approach towards risk taking maintained asset quality at very high levels with the non-performing loans ratio managed to under 2% of the total loans and advances portfolio”, added Mr. Al-Rajaan.
“AUB’s performance continued to be recognised by the international financial industry. Recently the Bank was named the ‘Best Bank in the Middle East 2009’ by Global Finance, the fourth consecutive year AUB has received this prestigious accolade,” Mr. Al-Rajaan concluded.