Ahli United Bank (AUB), whose new retail banking operation, Ahli United Bank (Bahrain), was successfully launched last month, has announced net profits of US$39.87 million for the nine months to 30 September 2001, an increase of 13.3 percent over the same period in September 2000 (US$35.18 million).

Gross operating income to 30 September 2001 was US$115.77 million with a cost-to-income ratio of 48.49 percent. Earnings per share rose to US cents 2.75, compared to US cents 2.72 in the corresponding period last year based on average outstanding shares.

Net interest income rose by 9.44 percent and interest expenses decreased by 8.56 percent over the same period last year, which supported a steady increase in the total operating income. Core fee income, excluding gains on sale of non trading investments and income from treasury operations, rose by 20.2% to US$36.09 million. Strong controls on all cost segment levels were maintained.

"It is pleasing to note that the level of profits generated during the third quarter, and the first nine months of the year, were surpassed. The third quarter was notable for the successful integration of the operations of the former Al-Ahli Commercial Bank and the Commercial Bank of Bahrain to create Ahli United Bank (Bahrain) and for the successful completion of AUB’s inaugural rights issue which was heavily oversubscribed", said Mr Fahd Al Rajaan, Deputy Chairman, Ahli United Bank.

"The Group will continue to pursue a strategy of expansion and diversification from a solid platform of financial prudence and skilled management. This will be assisted by the gradual mobilization of the surplus capital raised whose impact is not expected to be fully generated except by the second half of 2002. Despite the global economic slowdown and other factors, which have impacted business confidence in recent months, the Bank’s principal operating segments of retail banking, corporate banking, Treasury and investments, and private banking and wealth management, have all continued to perform well and above budget expectation" he added.

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