UAB net profit surges 60% on branch expansion plans

United Arab Bank, or UAB, on Wednesday said its first-quarter net profit surged 60 per cent to Dh120 million due to expanding branch network and improved product offerings.

By Muzaffar Rizvi

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Published: Thu 18 Apr 2013, 11:09 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 9:32 AM

This is a highest-ever quarterly net profit in the bank’s 38-year history.

The Sharjah-based bank reported double-digit growth in customer deposits, which climbed 11 per cent at Dh11.2 billion during the January-March quarter compared to Dh10.1 billion in the previous quarter. Customer loans and advances rose eight per cent to Dh11.7 billion from Dh10.9 billion at the 2012 year-end.

Shaikh Faisal bin Sultan bin Salem Al Qasimi, Chairman of UAB, said the bank’s outstanding performance in 2012 has continued into the first quarter of 2013, delivering a record net profit in the three month period.

“UAB remains committed to its growth strategy of building a bank which offers true value to our customers, shareholders and partners,” he said.

The fasted growing bank in the UAE, which is rated Baa1 with a stable outlook by Moody’s, said its first-quarter operating profit soared 38 per cent to Dh154 million as against over Dh112 million in the same period last year. The bank’s total operating income rose 37 per cent to Dh226 million, driven by a 37 per cent increase in net interest income to Dh169 million and 39 per cent growth in non-interest income at Dh57 million as corporate and retail businesses performed well during the quarter.

“We remain positive about our future growth with significant contributions from retail, corporate and recently launched SME banking segments to our balance sheet and profit,” Paul Trowbridge, chief executive officer of UAB told Khaleej Times.

While commenting on the year-to-date performance, he said first-quarter growth has been well supported through bank’s expanding branch network and improved product offerings.

“We are now a truly local bank where almost half of our new customers are UAE nationals. Combining these factors with the proven benefits from the alliance with the Commercial Bank of Qatar, we expect UAB to continue on its successful journey throughout 2013 and beyond,” he said.

The bank’s provision charge recorded a slight decline at Dh34 million from Dh37 million in 2012, reflecting a prudent and proactive approach to general provisioning. Earnings per share surged 61 per cent to Dh0.121 during the quarter.

“UAB’s results in quarter one are extremely positive. The bank continues to grow in both size and success, supported by recognition from our customers, partners and the financial community. This is an excellent start to 2013 and our customers can look forward to several other innovations in the coming months,” Trowbridge said.

In reply to a question on bank’s mortgage lending in 2013 in the wake of strong recovery in property sector, he said: “We will continue to build our mortgage portfolio while growing our other businesses including SMEs as well as corporate banking in rest of three quarters.”

He said the bank will continue to capture emerging lending opportunities resulting from the considerable recovery of the UAE economy led by the hospitality, trade, logistics and retail sectors.

About the bank’s focus and 2013 initiatives, he said branch network would be strengthened with the opening of 10 more branches in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and 20 off-site ATMs during the year.

“We will further support our distribution network with an enhanced online banking offering, a new mobile banking offering and enlarged mobile sales force, which will further enhance our capacity to bring our innovative product and services to our targeted customer segments.”

He also acknowledged the strategic alliance with The Commercial Bank of Qatar (CBQ), which acquired 40 per cent of UAB in 2007 after concluding a similar alliance with National Bank of Oman two years back. The alliance of the three banks provides synergies across a range of business and support areas, which continues to facilitate commercial growth.

— muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com


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