AUB’S SHAREHOLDERS APPROVE 18% CASH AND 5% STOCK DIVIDENDS; ELECT NEW BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Ahli United Bank B.S.C. (AUB) reported a net profit attributable to its equity shareholders of US$ 147.2 million for the quarter ended 31 March 2015. The net profit reflected a surge of 7.8% in Q1/2015 as compared to US$ 136.6 million achieved in Q1/2014. The Q1/2015 net profit also represents a 38.6% improvement over the Q4/2014 trailing quarter reported profit of US$ 106.2 million. The Basic Earnings per Share in Q1/2015 was US 2.3 cents, compared to US 2.2 cents in Q1/2014.
Despite continuing sluggish economic trends into 2015, AUB continued to grow its operating income which was underpinned by maintaining its net interest margins through the judicious deployment of funds combined with effective liquidity management. Fee income grew by 5.6% from US$ 39.2 million to US$ 41.5 million. The cost income ratio stood at 28.5% (YTD Q1 / 2014: 27.8%).
Solid asset quality levels were sustained with the non-performing loans ratio standing unchanged at 2.0% (31 December 2014: 2.0%) while the specific provision coverage ratio improved to 86.2% (31 December 2014: 83.8%). The total provision coverage ratio, inclusive of collective impairment provisions, rose to 163.5% as at 31 March 2015 (31 December 2014: 159.4%).
The Group’s Return on Average Equity (ROAE) for Q1/2015, increased to 17.5%, compared to the ROAE of 17.2% achieved in the first quarter of 2014. Return on Average Assets was maintained at 1.9% for Q1/2015 (Q1/2014: 1.9%).
Mr. Hamad Al-Humaidhi, AUB Chairman, commented: “AUB continued its strong and steady performance in Q1/2015 underlying the viability of the Bank’s core regional business model based on diversification and cross border flows and the success of its selective growth initiatives to increase operating income and mitigate risk challenges in its target markets”.
“In April 2015, the Bank successfully completed a US$ 400 million issue of Additional Tier 1 Perpetual Basel III Compliant Capital Securities. This represents an important step forward in terms of the evolution and diversification of the Group’s capital structure and will provide tangible support to organic and inorganic business plans. This successful issue represents a clear testimony of AUB’s credentials among prime international and regional investors as a well-managed, successful and creditworthy financial institution.” added Mr. Al-Humaidhi.