AHLI UNITED BANK REPORTS A 14% INCREASE IN NET PROFITS TO US$68.9 MILLION FOR THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2007
Ahli United Bank (AUB), one of the region’s leading banks, has announced a net profit, attributable to its equity shareholders, of US$68.9 million for the quarter ended 31 March 2007, an increase of 13.9% over the same period in 2006 (US$ 60.5 million). This start to the year, with yet another solid performance, is underpinned by strong regional economies in the Gulf and Middle Eastern region backed by continuing high oil prices and volumes of economic activity.
The Group’s total assets at 31 March 2007 stood at US$21.7 billion, an increase of 4.2% over 31 December 2006. Loans and advances increased by 5.4% to US$9.3 billion since 31 December 2006, driven by tapping increasing business opportunities through enhanced groupwide underwriting capabilities. This was funded mainly by a growth in customers’ deposits by US$1 billion (+11.1%) to US$10 billion as compared to 31 December 2006. The resultant return on average shareholders equity at 17.7% was higher than 17.6% for the corresponding period in the prior year.
Total income rose by 17.4% to US$137.4 million (Q1 2006 – US$ 117.0 million), with a cost-to-income ratio of 35.2% (Q1 2006 – 36.2%) reflecting continuing prudent cost management and control and realization of AUB group synergies. Basic earnings per ordinary share was US cents 2.3, compared to US cents 2.0 for the corresponding period in the prior year. Dilutive earnings per ordinary share, adjusted for the impact of convertible issues, was US cents 1.9 as against US cents 1.6 in 2006.
“We are encouraged by our first quarter results which reflect the consistency of our performance and steady rise in our income growth year- on- year supported by our focus on sustainable earnings. Last year, we made significant progress in pursuing our strategy of organic and acquisition growth. This year, we aim to build on the successes that we have had and exceed our past achievements,” said Fahad Al- Rajaan, Chairman, Ahli United Bank.
“We continue to grow and consolidate our businesses in the different countries we operate in by providing innovative banking products and services. We have the resources in place to provide customers with a comprehensive range of cross-border products and services across the region. ”
“We continue to receive market recognition for our excellent performance trends with the “Best Bank in the Middle East 2007” award being conferred on us by Global Finance magazine for the second year running. It is an honour for us to be recognised for our efforts and performance ahead of all other Middle East banks,” Al-Rajaan concluded.