Al Salam Bank-Bahrain net profit surges 14%

Total recognised income and expense attributable to shareholders for the year recorded strong growth of 18%


MANAMA: Al Salam Bank-Bahrain (ASBB) reported a net profit attributable to shareholders of BD4 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared with BD5m in the fourth quarter of 2018, a variance of 20 per cent.

It reported a corresponding earnings per share at 1.8 fils in fourth quarter last year compared with 2.3 fils per share for the same period of 2018.

The bank reported a strong annual performance for 2019 posting a 14pc increase in net profit attributable to shareholders to BD21.1m, compared with BD18.5m in 2018. Correspondingly, earnings per share increased significantly to 9.8 fils for 2019, compared with 8.7 fils per share for 2018. Total recognised income and expense attributable to shareholders slightly reduced to BD3.7m in the fourth quarter of 2019, compared with BD4.3m for the same period of 2018, a variance of 12pc.

Total recognised income and expense attributable to shareholders for the year recorded strong growth of 18pc, surging to BD20.9m, from BD17.7m in 2018.

Total equity increased by 3.5pc to reach BD314.7m at the end of 2019, from BD304.1m as on 31 December 2018.

Total assets recorded strong growth in 2019 increasing by 19pc to BD2 billion, compared with BD1.7bn on 31 December 2018. The growth was coupled with a solid improvement in asset quality during 2019 with non-performing facilities decreasing significantly to 5.6pc 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 20.9pc in 2019, compared with 20.6pc in 2018.

As a result of the bank’s robust performance in 2019, the board of directors recommended a dividend distribution of 8pc of the bank’s issued and paid-up share capital (8 fils per share) aggregating to BD17.7m, comprising of 4pc cash dividends (4 fils per share) alongside 4pc bonus shares, subject to AGM and regulatory authorities’ approvals.

The continued strong performance of the bank 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 6.7pc in 2019 to BD29.8m compared with BD27.9m in 2018.

Commenting on the 2019 results, the bank’s chairman Khaleefa Butti Omair Al Muhairi said: “We are delighted with the bank’s solid performance which was achieved against a backdrop of restrained global growth, geopolitical uncertainties, and increased competition within the sector. We look forward to continuing the bank’s growth trajectory as we accelerate the implementation and execution of the strategy approved by the board of directors at the end of 2018.”

Group chief executive Rafik Nayed said: “We remain committed to position the bank for future growth and the ever changing landscape in the sector. Our new strategy is designed to strengthen and streamline the bank’s operating model through a renewed focus on our core banking activities and the roll out of new technologies.”

Mr Nayed added: “Effective implementation of our three-year road map has generated a 30pc increase in our financing portfolio, a steady acceleration in customer acquisition, a 28pc 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 BD2bn for the first time in the bank’s history.

“The milestones achieved in 2019 translated to a 14pc increase in net profit to BD21.1m. As we begin 2020, we remain confident of our ability to withstand economic headwinds while steadily continuing the implementation of our strategy to position ASBB as a leading financial institution providing best-in-class services to customers and superior returns to shareholders.”

ASBB is a leading regional Islamic bank headquartered in Bahrain and is licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain.

It offers a comprehensive range of innovative and unique Sharia-compliant financial products and services through its extended network of branches and ATMs utilising the state-of-art technology to meet various banking requirements.

In addition to its retail banking services, the bank also offers corporate banking, private banking, investment as well as treasury services.

The full set of the financial statements, which were audited by the external auditors KPMG, with unqualified opinion are available on Bahrain Bourse’s website.

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