The Board of Directors of Bank Alfalah Limited in its meeting held on Monday in Abu Dhabi, approved the Bank’s unaudited interim financial statements for the half year ended June 30, 2019.
The Bank’s first half 2019 pre-tax profits grew by 14% from a year ago, helped by high interest rates and better volumes. The bank declared an interim cash dividend of Rs. 2.0 per share for the year’s first half.
The Bank earned profit of Rs 6.209 Bn or Rs. 3.50 per share, up from a profit of Rs. 6.039 Bn or Rs. 3.40 per share despite Super Tax charge levied for 2017 through the mini budget in 2019.
Revenue was up by 27% from a year earlier. Higher discount rate, rising average deposits and effective balance sheet management have contributed to a strong rise in net interest income. Gain realized on government securities last year and bearish stock market sentiments during the first half of 2019 are the reasons behind lower capital gains. Fee and commission income stood 11% higher than same period last year.
Administrative expenses increased by 16% against the previous reporting period. Main factors behind this are deposit protection insurance which is a new levy, annual increments, customer promotion costs, cost of compliance such as bio-metric verification, inflationary adjustments and PKR devaluation. Despite increase in cost in actual terms, cost to income ratio improved from 56% to 52% from the same period last year.
Asset quality remains stable, with gross non-performing loans as a percentage of total loans at 3.5% by the end of June, marginally lower than December end. Absolute non-performing loans also reduced by Rs. 891 Mn in first six months.
The Bank continued its focus on increasing no cost deposits and with 16.9% growth in non-remunerative current deposits, CASA mix improved to 82.6% as at June 30, 2019. The bank’s gross advances were reported at Rs. 511.097 billion. At the quarter end, gross advances to deposits ratio stands at 69%, and remains a leading indicator for the bank in the industry.
At close of first half, the bank remains very adequately capitalized with CAR at 16.84%.
Commenting on the Bank’s performance over the quarter, Nauman Ansari, CEO, Bank Alfalah said, “Investment in our digital and payments capabilities is a key pillar of our strategy. It will provide our clients with the innovative solutions that will facilitate convenience and more personalized experience. Secondly, we are committed to becoming an employer of choice by investing in and enriching the employee experience which will positively impact both our productivity and our customer experience.”