AHLI UNITED BANK B.S.C. REPORTS A NET PROFIT OF US$ 159.6 MILLION ATTRIBUTABLE TO OWNERS OF THE BANK FOR THE PERIOD ENDED 31 MARCH 2021
Ahli United Bank B.S.C. (AUB) reported a net profit attributable to its equity shareholders of US$ 159.6 million for Q1/2021 (Q1/2020: US$ 171.4 million, -6.9%) primarily due to lower net interest income driven by low-key benchmark interest rates and reduced activity based fees & commission and other income resulting from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Basic and Diluted Earnings per Share were US 1.6 cents in Q1/2021 versus US 1.7 cents in Q1/2020. Comprehensive income attributable to the owners of the bank for Q1/2021 was US$ 174.8 million (Q1/2020: US$ -37.0 million). Net interest income was US$ 207.0 million in Q1/2021 (Q1/2020: US$ 213.8 million, -3.2%) and total operating income was US$ 291.0 million in Q1/2021 (Q1/2020: US$ 318.7 million, -8.7%). Meanwhile, net interest income and total operating income improved by 3.8% and 0.7% compared to the trailing Q4/2020 quarter with improved core interest and fee income streams.
Non-performing loans ratio stood at 2.7% (31 December 2020: 2.6%) with specific provision coverage of 85.2% (31 December 2020: 85.9%). Provision coverage levels are calculated on a cash provision basis excluding the value of the additional significant non-cash (real estate and securities) collateral available against non-performing loans.
The cost to income ratio was maintained at 27.7% (Q1/2020: 27.1%) reflecting AUB’s continuing cost discipline and well entrenched intelligent spend approach achieved through streamlining of processes and leveraging its on-going digital transformation initiatives.
The Group’s equity attributable to owners at 31 March 2021 increased by 1.2% to US$ 4.1 billion (31 December 2020: US$ 4.0 billion). Return on Average Equity for Q1/2021 was 15.0% (Q1/2020: 15.6%). The AUB Group’s total assets at 31 March 2021 was marginally lower (-1.6%) to US$ 39.4 billion (31 December 2020: US$ 40.1 billion) reflecting prudent balance-sheet management under subdued operating and funding conditions. Return on Average Assets was at 1.7% for Q1/2021 (Q1/2020: 1.9%).
Mr. Meshal Al Othman, AUB Chairman, commented “While governments across the world are in various stages of rolling out their mass vaccination programs, global and regional economies are still being impacted by the resurgence of new virus variants which adversely affect business confidence and delay recovery efforts. AUB continues to navigate these challenging market conditions in a balanced and structured manner and its results reflect its conservative stance in terms of risk assessment and management.”
“AUB will continue to focus on providing a safe operating environment for all staff, clients and counterparties, on building a seamless remote capability through its existing digital initiatives to transact its business client needs and on protecting its core earnings capacity and multi country franchise until business as usual conditions can be restored”.