*Commercial Bank has an excellent start to the year and continued with the execution of its five-year strategic plan
Registering top line growth with rising operating profitability for the fifth sequential quarter, Commercial Bank has posted a first-quarter net profit of QR405mn, up 345% on the same period in 2017.
The premier bank’s assets totalled QR146.3bn at the end of the first quarter (Q1), up 8.4% on the same period last year.
Customer loans and advances stood at QR92.7bn in Q1, up 13% on the same period in 2017.
Customer deposits totalled QR79.3bn in Q1, up 10.3% on the same period last year.
Announcing the results on Tuesday, Commercial Bank chairman Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali bin Jabor al-Thani said, “The Qatari economy is resilient with GDP growth revised upwards to 2.8% for 2018, making it one of the fastest growing economies in the region. Confidence in Qatar’s economy prevails, reflected by the strong appetite for Qatari bonds.
“The bank had a strong start to 2018, with top line growth and operating profitability on the rise for the fifth sequential quarter, thanks in part to the bank’s strong franchise and balance sheet, as well as prudent management of liquidity.
“Looking ahead to 2018 and beyond, the projected growth of the private sector will present several opportunities for the Bank to finance the expansion of business in the country.”
Commercial Bank vice-chairman Hussain Alfardan said, “Commercial Bank had an excellent start to the year and continued with the execution of its five-year strategic plan. The bank reported its fifth sequential quarter of increased operating profitability with strong asset growth, a stable funding platform and increased efficiencies across the operating business.”
Net operating income for the Commercial Bank Group increased by 3.8% to QR919mn in Q1, up from QR885mn in the same period in 2017.
The group’s net provisions for loans and advances decreased by 53.7% to QR222mn for the quarter that ended in March, from QR479mn for the same period in 2017.
The non-performing loan (NPL) ratio increased to 5.3% in the quarter that ended in March compared to 5% for the same period in 2017. The loan coverage ratio increased to 86.4% in the first quarter compared to 85.9%.
The group delivered balance sheet growth of 8.4% for the quarter that ended in March with total assets at QR146.3bn, compared to QR135.1bn for the same period in 2017.
Total assets growth was driven mainly by an increase of QR10.7bn in loans and advances and QR3bn in investment securities, which was partially offset by a decrease of QR6.5bn in due from banks and financial institutions.
Commercial Bank Group chief executive officer Joseph Abraham said, “I am pleased to report a strong business performance for the first quarter of the year, a clear indicator that we have the right strategy in place and the right team to implement it.
“The results of the strong execution of our five-year strategic plan are seen in Q1, 2018 results with a consolidated operating profit of QR608mn and a net profit of QR405mn, representing a 15% and a 345% increase over the same period last year, respectively.
“As we advised last year we have come to the end of the legacy loan book provisioning and the normalised credit charge has benefited our bottom line. More importantly, we have continued to grow our business strongly with a focus on the government and public sector, introduced new and innovative products in retail banking as part of our digital agenda and continued our tight focus on efficiency driving down our cost income ratio whilst continuing to invest in our product and infrastructure.”