|13 February, 2020

National Bank of Bahrain posts $196.7mln net profit

Operating income for the fourth quarter increased by 6.9%

MANAMA: National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) announced strong financial results for the fourth quarter ending December 31, 2019, marked by a 21.3 per cent increase in its net profits to BD18.2 million ($48.4m) compared with BD15m ($39.9m) in 2018.

The increase in net profit was attributed to a growth in operating income of 6.9pc and a lower provision charge of BD0.1m compared with BD3.1m for the same period in 2018.

Basic and diluted earnings per share for the quarter stand at 12 fils (three US cents) compared with 10 fils in 2018.

Total comprehensive income for the fourth quarter increased by 153.7pc to BD27.4m ($72.9m) compared with BD10.8m ($28.7m) for the same period last year due to higher mark-to-market gains on investment securities classified as fair value through other comprehensive income.

Operating income for the fourth quarter increased by 6.9pc to BD30.9m ($82.2m) in 2019 compared with BD28.9m ($76.9m) in the fourth quarter of 2018.

NBB has reported a 6pc increase in its net profit to BD74.2m ($197.4m) for the year ending December 31, 2019, compared with BD70m ($186.1m) in 2018. The increase in net profit was due to a healthy year-on-year growth in operating income of 7.2pc and a well maintained cost-to-income ratio of 35.9pc in 2019 compared with 35.6pc in 2018 despite the bank’s ongoing investments in human capital and technology to support its transformation strategy.

Basic and diluted earnings per share during the year increased by 6.5pc to 49 fils (13 cents) compared with 46 fils (12 cents) in 2018.

Total comprehensive income for the year increased by 36.6pc to BD91m ($242.1m) compared with BD66.6m ($177m) in 2018, attributable to higher mark-to-market gains on investment securities classified as fair value through other comprehensive income.

Operating income for the year increased by 7.2pc to BD125.8m ($334.6m) compared with BD117.4m ($312.2m) in 2018.

The bank’s total shareholders’ equity grew by 11.9pc to BD532.3m ($1,415.7m) compared with BD475.8m ($1,265.3m) as of 31 December 2018.

Total assets of BD3,194.5m ($8,496m) as of 31 December 2019 were in line with the 31 December 2018 level. Total loans and advances increased by 2pc to BD1,213.7m ($3,227.9m) compared with BD1,190.1m ($3,165.2m) recorded as of 31 December 2018.

The recommended appropriations for the year 2019 will be submitted to the shareholders at the annual general meeting. These appropriations include BD38.7m for cash dividend at 25pc and BD3.7m for donations and contributions. The board of directors has proposed a one for 10 bonus issue and a transfer of BD8m from retained earnings to the statutory reserve.

NBB chairman Farouk Almoayyed said: “On behalf of the board, I am pleased to announce another year of record results for NBB. I am proud to say that NBB continues to grow with our profitability increasing by 6pc in 2019 in comparison with 2018 which is a result of our focus towards introducing value-adding services and growing our network, as evidenced by NBB securing a share in multiple national projects.”

“We are proud of what we have achieved in 2019 and we are confident that our efforts for the new year will allow us to continue to achieve improved results and greater value for our shareholders. On that note, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of the board, the leadership of our management team and the hard work and dedication of our employees who have collectively driven the bank towards another successful year,” concluded Mr Almoayyed.

NBB chief executive Jean-Christophe Durand said, “We have successfully achieved a 6.9pc growth in operating income in the fourth quarter and 7.2pc for the 12 months in comparison with 2018, despite the challenging economic conditions. In the past year we have witnessed major transformation for NBB including the launch of our new identity and our brand promise ‘Closer to You’, which has been our drive for 2019. The deployment of pioneering applications, some of which derive from our commitment and close partnership with the fintech industry, have given NBB a leading edge in areas such as open banking, for which the bank was the first institution to launch in Bahrain.

“Digital is becoming a way of life for us and for our customers. A complete overhaul of our branch network, epitomised by the launch of our flagship Seef branch, has re-energised our engagement with our walk-in clients.

“We were also named ‘Best Bank in Bahrain’ by Euromoney which is a testament to the tireless efforts put by NBB employees to make it possible. I am proud of the effort, the application, and the enthusiasm of our various business and support units to grasp the tremendous opportunities that our transformational journey has provided. NBB will continue to move forward in 2020 introducing more tailor-made services and products for our customers.”

The full set of audited financial statements are available on the Bahrain Bourse’s website.

National Bank of Bahrain shares are traded on Bahrain Bourse under the trading code: NBB.

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