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NBB net profit up 3.6pc to $54.3m

MANAMA, April 17, 2019

National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) today announced a net profit of BD20.4 million ($54.3 million) for the first quarter of this year, ended March 31, an increase of 3.6% compared to BD19.7 million ($52.4 million) during the prior year period.  
 
Operating profit rose by 17.4% y-o-y to BD23.6 million compared with BD20.1 million in the prior-year period. Operating income rose by 13.6% y-o-y to BD34.2 million compared with BD30.1 million in the prior-year period.
 
Earnings per share during the period stood at the same level of 13 fils.  
 
Other financial highlights are: 
* Net interest income increased 21.4% y-o-y to BD23.8 million compared with BD19.6 million in the prior-year period. Improvements were driven by prudent asset liabilities management and the acquisition of new customers from various sectors across the bank’s business lines during the quarter; 
* Other income stood almost at the same level at BD10.4 million.
* Operating costs were up to BD10.6 million compared to BD10 million, an increase of 6% in line with the ongoing investments in human capital and technology to support the bank’s transformation strategy. Cost-to-income ratio was 31%, which nevertheless remains well in line with industry norms. 
* Total comprehensive income for the period was BD25.7 million compared with BD10.2 million in the prior-year period.
* Total earning assets increased by 5.8% to BD3,037.5 million compared with BD2,871.9 million as at 31 March 2018.
* Average loans and advances stood almost at the same level of BD1,209.3 million.
* Average customer deposits increased by 2.8% to BD2,157.4 million compared with BD2,099.4 million as at March 31, 2018.
* Total equity grew by 11.7% to BD468.1 million compared with BD419.0 million as at March 31.
 
Farouk Yousuf Khalil Almoayyed, chairman of NBB, said: “We’re pleased to announce strong performance and results for the first quarter of 2019, building on the record income generation and profitably delivered last year. Operating profit showed a very robust growth of 17.4% compared with the same quarter last year mainly driven by a great contribution from our core banking activities. 
 
“Our sustained growth is further evidence that NBB’s strategy of transformation is paying off and that the investments we have and continue to make in modernising the bank, hiring the best talent and diversifying the business both locally and in regional markets is the right one for continued success. During the quarter, manifestations of the progress we are making and the new direction in which are taking the bank was also seen in the launch of NBB’s new brand, which is an important part of the evolution of the bank and our efforts to sustain our market leadership. The new brand represents the NBB of the future and underscores our dedication to serving our customers and the community with a brand promise to get “Closer to you”. 
 
“We look forward to rolling out further positive changes and innovation in line with our strategy and our commitment to creating value for our shareholders and customers and supporting the further development of the local and regional economies through enhanced participation, which remains NBB’s primary focus,” he said.   
 
Jean-Christophe Durand, chief executive officer of NBB, added: “The bank’s continued progress and improvements to the top and bottom line demonstrate our ability to deliver sustained growth quarter after quarter. Increased profitability and income generation, despite competitive market conditions, is the direct result of our focus on the strengthening of core banking activities, product diversification and the introduction of new business lines last year, which are now showing positive results. This, coupled with the prudent management of our operating expenses remains crucial in terms of balancing the gains we continue to make through with the ongoing investments in the Bank’s digital transformation and efforts to enhance the customer experience and journey so as to better meet and serve their needs and those of the community more broadly. 
 
“In the first quarter, we continued to expand our support for local businesses and retail customers, maintaining strong levels of loans and financing across individuals, SMEs and corporates as well as through financing for major national projects. Through product innovation and effective promotions, we also reported a very healthy increase in both retail and institutional customer deposits. We will continue to build on this positive momentum with the aim of delivering even further progress and value,” Durand said. – TradeArabia News Service



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