Dubai lender Emirates NBD reported on Wednesday a net profit of AED 2.7 billion ($735 million), the highest in a quarter since 2019, as it saw good growth momentum in its business, including international operations. 

In a statement on Nasdaq Dubai, the bank said profits were up 18 percent year-on-year, with credit quality across the group continuing to improve and impairment falling 20 percent. 

Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim, vice chairman and managing director, said the results reflected “the strengthening regional economy and the success of the group’s diversified business model”. 

Total income for the first quarter was 6.4 billion dirhams, down two percent quarter-on-quarter but up three percent year-on-year. Group chief financial officer Patrick Sullivan said the bank had kept a firm control on costs and seen consistent decline in the cost of risk. 

Group CEO Shayne Nelson said international operations contributed 37 percent of total income in the first quarter of 2022, with the profitability of Turkish private bank DenizBank, acquired by Emirates NBD in 2018, remaining stable despite the depreciation in Turkish Lira. 

“These strong results, along with the positive outlook for margins, enable us to invest in our international network and digital capabilities, supporting our next stage of growth,” he said. 

(Reporting by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Cleofe Maceda )