Bahrain Bay. Photo credit: Yousif Al Saifby Nabilah Annuar
Al Salam Bank-Bahrain (ASBB) has reported a net profit attributable to shareholders of $10.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to $13 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, recording a 20 per cent dip.
The bank’s earnings per share was recorded at $0.48 compared with $0.61 per share for the same period of 2018. The bank reported an annual performance for 2019 posting a 14 per cent increase in net profit to $55.97 million compared to $49.07 million in 2018.
Group CEO of Al Salam Bank-Bahrain, Rafik Nayed, said, “Effective implementation of our three-year road map has generated a 30 per cent increase in our financing portfolio, a steady acceleration in customer acquisition, a 28 per cent growth in total deposits, further diversification of funding sources via the expansion of our banking network in frontier emerging markets and, in aggregate, a balance sheet that exceeded $5.31 billion s for the first time in the Bank’s history. The milestones achieved in 2019 translated to a 14 per cent increase in net profit to $55.97 million. As we begin 2020, we remain confident of our ability to withstand economic headwinds while steadily continuing the implementation our strategy to position ASBB as a leading financial institution providing best-in-class services to customers and superior returns to shareholders.”
Total recognised income and expense attributable to shareholders slightly reduced to $9.81 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, compared with $11.41 million for the same period of 2018, a variance of 12 per cent. Total recognised income and expense attributable to shareholders for the year recorded strong growth of 18 per cent, surging to $55.44 million, from $46.95 million in 2018.
Total equity increased by 3.5 per cent to reach $834.75 million at the end of 2019, from $806.63 million as on 31 December 2018. Total assets recorded strong growth in 2019 increasing by 19 per cent to $5.31 billion, compared to $4.51 billion on 31 December 2018.
The growth was coupled with a solid improvement in asset quality during 2019 with non-performing facilities decreasing significantly to 5.6 per cent of the total portfolio as a result of effective recovery initiatives and quality asset booking. Despite the significant growth in balance sheet, the Bank maintained its solid capital adequacy ratio at 20.9 per cent in 2019, as compared to 20.6 per cent in 2018.
As a result of the bank’s performance in 2019, the Board of Directors recommended a dividend distribution of eight per cent of the bank’s issued and paid-up share capital (US cents 2.12 per share) aggregating to $46.95 million, comprising of four per cent cash dividends (US cents 1.06 per share) alongside four per cent bonus shares, subject to AGM and regulatory authorities’ approvals.
The strong performance of Al Salam Bank-Bahrain in 2019 and the significant growth in its key banking activities, reflect the successful execution of its new transformation strategy and continued efforts to streamline operations and enhance customer experience. 2019 was the maiden year for the implementation of the three-year strategy.
As a result of the Bank’s continued efforts to enhance its operating model and execute its strategic initiatives including its digital transformation projects, total operating expenses increased by 6.7 per cent in 2019 to $79.05 million compared to $74.01 million in 2018.