Muscat: Built on pillars of innovation, strong corporate governance and a customer-first strategy, Sohar International reflected healthy growth in the six-month period ended 30 June 2021 recording a net profit of OMR 15.20 million compared to OMR13.18 million during the same period in 2020, translating to a growth of 15.3 per cent.
Commenting on the financial results, Mohammed Mahfoudh Al Ardhi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sohar International, said, “The half-yearly financial results are a great reflection of Sohar International’s vision and strategy in full gear. The Sultanate has made commendable progress to counter the effects of the pandemic by adopting learning, implementation of agendas, thoughtful investments in key areas and an aggressive vaccination campaign. This, coupled with a rise in global oil prices, has in turn, helped us to continue operations in an improving economic environment that is more conducive to business growth. With the ongoing commitment of the government to continue concentrating on infrastructure projects along with investments in the key sectors identified in the economic diversification plan, we expect to see sustained demand for financing in the near future, thus stimulating the country’s banking landscape.”
Sohar International’s total assets increased by 12.5 per cent in the first six months of 2021 recording OMR4,031 million compared to OMR3,584 million during the same period last year. Net loans and advances increased by 3.4 per cent to OMR2,526 million (30 June 2020: OMR2,442 million) reflecting the bank’s prudence in managing growth given current economic conditions.
Customer deposits increased by 2.8 per cent to OMR2,304 million (30 June 2020: OMR2,241 million), reflecting the bank’s strengthening funding and liquidity position. Operating income increased by 13.9 per cent to OMR54.22 million, (30 June 2020: OMR47.62 million), driven by increases in other operating income streams including gain on sale of investment securities.
Operating profit increased by 17.0 per cent to OMR30.64 million compared to OMR26.18 million for the same period last year. Operating expenses increased by 10 per cent to OMR23.58 million (30 June 2020: OMR21.44 million). The bank continues to manage the expense base to support its strategic objectives as well as maintain a strong cost/income ratio, reporting 43.5 per cent for the period compared to 45.0 per cent for the same period last year.
With figures serving testament to Sohar International’s growth in the past six months, Chief Executive Officer of Sohar International - Ahmed Al Musalmi, said, “Continuing our journey by upholding the core values that govern our brand identity and encompasses the vision and purpose of the bank, Sohar International has demonstrated unfaltering commitment in increasing the value for stakeholders and the nation at large. We remain grateful to all our patrons and partners for their unending trust and support reposed in the bank. Sohar International entered 2021 with a great sense of optimism as it embraced its principles of more velocity, more value, and more vision in its strategic approach while embodying the attributes of being sharp, human and unstoppable. Our latest financial results reflect our strong position in the market and our ability to absorb and overcome challenges. Our focus for the year remains geared towards rewarding customers by creating opportunities to win while helping them achieve their goals.
"Aligning ourselves to the national agenda and playing an active roleas a key contributor to the Sultanate’s economy, Sohar International continues to seek and promote in-country values (ICV), identify key projects that will contribute to the short-term and long-term goals of the country, and create opportunities for individuals and businesses alike.”
Sohar International has always demonstrated a keen focus on technology, innovation and digitalisation as enablers to provide customers convenience and simplicity which reflected its effectiveness especially during the pandemic. The bank’s ability to continue its growth trajectory and deliver on its strategic imperatives is exemplified in the confidence that shareholders have in the bank.
This reaffirms Sohar international’s strong market position and growing investor confidence, despite a challenging operating environment. Sohar International’s well-devised strategies, commitment to achieving targets and forward-thinking approach further attests to the bank’s firm belief in establishing and retaining meaningful relations with its shareholders and investors whether locally, regionally, or internationally.
Demonstrating utmost resilience in keeping up with the changing market scenarios in the face of unprecedented changes, Sohar International will continue to invest in innovative product offerings while focusing on its customers, the community as well as its employees that form the backbone of the institution.