Muscat: Ahli United Bank (AUB) has reported a net profit, attributable to its equity shareholders, of $335.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2012. This represents an 8.1 per cent increase over the 2011 result.
The last quarter of 2012 contributed $78.6 million to the overall increased result, compared to $70.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Total operating income grew by 6 per cent to $892.8 million over 2011, driven by a 12.3 per cent increase in net interest income, a 3.5 per cent improvement in fee-based income, and an 8.5 per cent increase in the share of profits from associates and joint ventures. The deployment of liquidity into diversified and risk-acceptable sectors and assets resulted in the overall improvement in the net interest margin from 2.1 per cent in 2011 to 2.2 per cent in 2012.
Key drivers of the increase in operating income were the 3.1 per cent growth in net loans and advances, together with a 17.2 per cent growth in the non-trading investments portfolio over December 2011, funded by a 5.1 per cent rise in customers' deposits.
Interest income includes a minor $0.8 million exceptional gain from the early repayment of subordinated debt.
The ongoing adoption of a disciplined cost culture within the AUB Group further improved the cost–income ratio to 29.9 per cent (2011: 32.4 per cent) and positively contributed to profitability.
Credit quality levels were maintained with a non-performing loans level of 2.4 per cent, comparable to 2.5 per cent in 2011. The overall provision–coverage ratio (including collective impairment provisions) was increased to 150 per cent on December 31, 2012, compared to 135 per cent on December 31, 2011.