AUB Chairman Meshal Al Othman

KUWAIT: Ahli United Bank (AUB) reported a net profit attributable to its equity shareholders of $192.9 million for the quarter ended 31 March 2019. The net profit reflected an increase of 10.4 percent in Q1/2019 as compared to the net profit of $174.7 million achieved in Q1/2018. The Q1/2019 net profit also represents a 13.9 percent improvement over the Q4/2018 trailing quarter reported profit of $169.3 million. The Basic Earnings per Share in Q1/2019 were US 2.2 cents (+10.0 percent), compared to US 2.0 cents in Q1/2018.

Operating income grew by 6.6 percent to $311.9 million (Q1/2018: $292.6 million) mainly driven by an increase in net interest income by $13.9 million (+6.1 percent) to $243.3 million (Q1/2018: $229.3 million) attributable to growth in loans and investments and to effective interest rate risk management. Net operating income increased from $279.4 million in Q1/2018 to $298.4 million in Q1/2019 (+6.8 percent). Operating results continued to be supported by operational efficiencies resulting in an improved cost to income ratio of 25.6 percent (Q1/2018: 25.9 percent). Despite challenging operating conditions, solid asset quality levels were sustained with a nonperforming loans ratio of1.8 percent (31 December 2018: 1.9 percent) while specific provision coverage ratio increased to 85.6 percent (31 December 2018: 85.5 percent).

The total provision coverage ratio, excluding the available significant asset collaterals, improved to 222.7 percent as at 31 March 2019 (31 December 2018: 214.7 percent). The Group’s total assets at 31March 2019 increased by 4.2 percent to $37.0 billion (31 December 2018: $35.5 billion). Return on Average Assets was sustained at 2.3 percent for Q1/2019 (Q1/2018: 2.3 percent).The Group’s equity attributable to owners at 31 March 2019 stood at $3.7 billion (31 December 2018: $3.9 billion) post deduction of 2018 year end appropriations totaling $399.8 million. The Group’s Return on Average Equity (ROAE) for Q1/2019, increased to 18.7 percent, compared to 18.2 percent achieved in Q1/2018.

Meshal Al-Othman, AUB Chairman, commented: “Our continued growth in Q1/2019 demonstrates AUB’s resilience and ability to deliver sustainable core earnings on a consistent basis under its diversified well managed business model. AUB’s strategic investments across multiple markets, robust risk management, intelligent cost control measures and ongoing focus on the sourcing of cross border business flows has helped achieve its net profit growth for Q1/2019, while maintaining solid asset quality parameters and tight cost discipline.”