Manama, Bahrain: Ahli United Bank B.S.C. (AUB) reported a net profit attributable to shareholders of US$ 265.5 million for the year ended 31 December 2010, a 32% increase over the 2009 results of US$ 200.7 million. This includes a Q4/2010 profit of US$ 64.4 million, a marked improvement over the US$ 17.1 million net profit achieved in the same quarter of 2009.
These results were primarily delivered through a structured build up of risk assets with solid interest margins leading to a 9% growth in the Net Interest Income. The Group also benefited from enhanced cross border synergies on the commercial and private banking fronts and from a 26.5% higher share of profits from managed associates during the year. Asset quality levels improved resulting in a lower non-performing loan ratio of 2.4% at 31 December 2010 (31 December 2009: 2.8%) and lower impairment provisions of US$151.7 million as compared to US$228.1 million in 2009.
The basic and dilutive earnings per ordinary share for the year ended 31 December 2010 was US$ cents 5.4, an increase over the 2009 level of US$ cents 4.2. The Board of Directors recommends a cash dividend of US$ 2.5 cents per share. (2009: US$ 2 cents)
The Group’s resultant Return on Average Equity for 2010 was 12.0%, compared to the 9.6% achieved in 2009. The Return on Average Assets also improved from 0.9% for 2009 to 1.2% for 2010.
The Group’s total assets grew by 12.2%, reaching US$ 26.5 billion from US$ 23.6 billion at 31 December 2009 , with the loans and advances portfolio registering an increase of 8.9% to US$ 14.5 billion (31 December 2009: US$ 13.3 billion). This increase was achieved with a focus on portfolio diversification and on prudent lending criteria. The credit growth was funded by a 12% growth in customer deposits to reach US$ 14.8 billion (31 December 2009: US$ 13.2 billion). The Bank also improved its funding maturity profile by elongating the majority of its US$ 800 million term debt maturing in October 2011 and through securing a number of bi-lateral financing arrangements.
“2010 hopefully marks the beginning of a sustainable turnaround in AUB’s financial performance. The future shows a number of improving trends and we are optimistic that AUB can continue to build on its organic and inorganic strategies going forward in a prudent manner”, said Fahad Al-Rajaan, Chairman, AUB.
“The re-affirmation of AUB credit ratings as A- (Stable) by S&P and Fitch as well as A (Stable) by Capital Intelligence bears testament to AUB’s strong underlying business fundamentals and effective control framework.”, added Mr. Al-Rajaan.