AHLI UNITED BANK REPORTS A 34.3% INCREASE IN NET PROFIT TO US$ 607.2 MILLION ATTRIBUTABLE TO OWNERS OF THE BANK AND A RETURN ON AVERAGE EQUITY OF 13.8% FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2021
Ahli United Bank B.S.C. (AUB) reported a net profit attributable to its equity shareholders of US$ 156.6 million for Q4/2021, which represents a 265% increase over the Q4/2020 reported net profit of US$ 42.9 million driven by an increase in net interest income and a lower level of net credit provision charges. The Basic and Diluted Earnings per Share were US 1.3 cents in Q4/2021 versus US 0.3 cents in Q4/2020. Comprehensive income attributable to the owners of the bank for Q4/2021 was US$ 147.5 million (Q4/2020: US$ 47.9 million, +208.1%). Net interest income was US$ 227.6 million in Q4/2021 (Q4/2020: US$ 199.4 million, +14.1%).
AUB reported a net profit attributable to its equity shareholders of US$ 607.2 million for the full year 2021, represents a 34.3% increase over the 2020 reported profit of US$ 452.2 million mainly driven by credit growth aided by effective balance-sheet management and the reduction in credit provision charges supported by overall economic improvement. The Basic and Diluted Earnings per Share in 2021 increased to US 5.6 cents as compared to US 4.1 cents in 2020. Comprehensive income attributable to the owners of the bank for the year 2021 was US$ 641.2 million (2020: US$ 334.9 million, +91.5%). Net interest income for 2021 was US$ 871.8 million (2020: US$ 799.4 million, +9.1%) achieved through prudent asset growth and reduction in funding costs given lower liquidity premia.
The Group’s equity attributable to owners as at 31 December 2021 increased by 11.7% to US$ 4.5 billion (31 December 2020: US$ 4.0 billion). Return on Average Equity for 2021 increased to 13.8% (2020: 10.4%). The AUB Group’s total assets as at 31 December 2021 increased by 4.6% to US$ 41.9 billion (31 December 2020: US$ 40.1 billion) reflecting balanced balance sheet growth supported by prevailing economic recovery in its main operating markets. Return on Average Assets also improved to 1.6% for 2021 (2020: 1.2%).
The non-performing loans ratio was lower at 2.4% (31 December 2020: 2.6%) with very solid specific provision coverage of 83.1% (31 December 2020: 85.9%). Provision coverage levels are calculated on a cash provision basis excluding the value of the substantial additional non-cash (real estate and securities) collaterals assigned against non-performing loans.
The cost to income ratio for 2021 was 29.5% (2020: 29.3%) reflecting AUB’s focussed efforts to enhance operational efficiencies through the progressive roll-out of digitization initiatives as part of AUB Group’s overall transformation plan currently under implementation.
The Board of Directors has recommended a distribution comprising of a cash dividend of US cents 3.0 per share (2020: US cents 1.25 per share) together with a bonus ordinary share issue of 10% (2020: 5%), subject to AUB Annual General Assembly approval.
The AUB Chairman, Mr. Meshal Al Othman, commented “Against a challenging background of continuing pandemic concerns, emerging supply chain disruptions and market volatility driven by inflationary pressures, AUB achieved excellent operational and financial results in 2021 proving again the solidity and resilience of its multimarket business model’.
He added “During 2021, AUB Group successfully concluded a perpetual Tier-1 Sukuk-2021 Issue for US$ 600 million through its Kuwait subsidiary following the recall and full redemption of its earlier US$ 200 million perpetual Tier-1 Sukuk-2016 Issue, and a US$ 600 million long term senior Sukuk issuance at the parent bank with both deals significantly oversubscribed by a wide range of prime regional and international investors demonstrating AUB’s credentials as a leading market player. Going forward, AUB will continue to prudently navigate the challenging and unprecedented times by providing a safe operating environment for all staff, clients and counterparties, by expanding and updating its seamless remote capabilities to transact business and support all our client needs as well as by protecting and developing its core earnings capacity through organic and inorganic measures”.
About Ahli United Bank (AUB)
Ahli United Bank B.S.C (AUB) is a leading pan-regional financial services provider, incorporated in Bahrain in May 2000. It offers a full range of retail, commercial and private banking & wealth management services, both conventional and Sharia-compliant (42% of the total assets are Sharia-compliant at 31 December 2021), across the MENA region and the UK. AUB operates through its Bahrain Head Office and its subsidiaries in Kuwait, Egypt, Iraq, and the UK as well as its associates in Oman and Libya; and a branch in the UAE (DIFC).
The key shareholders of AUB are the Public Institution for Social Security, Kuwait (18.86% stake) and Social Insurance Organization, Bahrain (10.01% stake).
AUB’s strong performance has earned it a string of prestigious local and regional accolades over the years, including: “Best Bank in the Middle East” by The Banker (2006, 2016) and by Euromoney (2007, 2012) besides its consistent selection as the “Best Bank in Bahrain” over the years.