Bank Audi profits surge 7% in Q1 on efficiencies, stable income

Bank Audi, one of Lebanon’s two largest banks, recorded net profits of $122 million in the first quarter

  
The logo of Bank Audi is seen at the main entrance of the Bank's head office in Beirut, Lebanon January 24, 2017. Image for illustrative purposes.

The logo of Bank Audi is seen at the main entrance of the Bank's head office in Beirut, Lebanon January 24, 2017. Image for illustrative purposes.

REUTERS/Jamal Saidi

BEIRUT: Bank Audi, one of Lebanon’s two largest banks, recorded net profits of $122 million in the first quarter, a rise of 7 percent compared to the same period of 2018.

“Consolidated net profits of Bank Audi after provisions and taxes reached $122 million in the first quarter of 2019 compared to $114 million in the corresponding period of 2018, i.e. a growth of 7 percent. This performance is attributed to an optimization of resources deployed and a reinforcement of the overall efficiency amid stable operating income generation,” the bank said.

It said this performance was in line with its budget for the period, encompassing reinforcing the performance of entities in the group while sustaining interest margin and making savings in operating expenses.

In the first quarter of 2019, it said, consolidated general operating expenses fell year-on-year by $21.6 million, with those savings generated across all the group’s entities.

“This translated in a net improvement in the bank’s consolidated cost-to-income ratio by 6 percent from 50.8 percent in the first quarter of 2018 to 44.8 percent in the first quarter of 2019,” it said. “Consolidated assets of Bank Audi reached $46.4 billion as at end-March 2019, translating in Bank Audi sustaining its leading positioning among Lebanese banking groups and among the top 20 Arab banking groups.”

Consolidated assets under management, encompassing assets under management, fiduciary deposits and custody accounts rose from $12.2 billion as at end-December 2018 to $12.5 billion as at end-March 2019, it said, raising total consolidated assets and assets under management to $58.9 billion as at end-March.

Consolidated customers’ deposits hit $31.3 billion at end-March 2019, of which 32 percent was accounted for by entities outside Lebanon.

“In parallel, consolidated loans to customers stood at $12.4 billion at the same date, of which 54 percent accounted for by entities outside Lebanon,” Bank Audi said. “Those aggregates registered decreases relative to end-December 2018, due in particular to the adopted policy revolving around activity consolidation in main markets of presence, in particular in Turkey and Lebanon within challenging and deteriorating operating conditions domestically and regionally.”

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