The Commercial Bank of Qatar and its subsidiaries and associates announced on Monday its financial results for the year ended Dec. 31, 2014, revealing that it made a net profit of QR 1.94 billion, a 20.9 percent increase in profitability compared to one year before.
On a quarterly basis, Commercial Bank generated a net profit of QR 387 million in the fourth quarter of 2014, an increase of 29 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2013, the ban said in a press release.
The bank's board of directors has recommended, for approval at the annual general assembly on March 18, a combination of a cash dividend payout of QR 3.5 per share and the issue of one bonus share for every ten shares held.
"2014 marks the fortieth year since the incorporation of Commercial Bank as Qatar's first private commercial bank," Commercial Bank Board Chairman HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali bin Jabor Al-Thani said.
"In that time, the bank has grown to become the leading private commercial bank in Qatar, helping to build the nation in a period which has seen a huge transformation of Qatar's economy and society. We are proud of the role that Commercial Bank has played and will continue to play in supporting the growth of Qatar's diversified economy as part of Qatar's National Vision 2030. Our subsidiary in Turkey and our alliance partnerships in the UAE and Oman ensure our continued role in the wider region's growth. Commercial Bank's financial year has been strong as we have pursued the successful execution of our strategy to generate long-term value from across our franchise on behalf of our shareholders. We look forward to the next forty years of building success with our clients and partners," he added.
For his part, Commercial Bank Vice Chairman and Managing Director Hussain Al Fardan highlighted 2014 as a positive year for the bank. "Solid annual performances from Commercial Bank, our alliance banks, [United Arab Bank] and [National Bank of Oman], combined with a strong performance from our Turkish subsidiary, ABank, has meant that that Commercial Bank delivered net income of QR 1.94 billion, a 20.9 percent improvement compared to 2013." Net operating income increased by 13.6 percent to QR 3.902 billion for the year ended Dec. 31, 2014, up from QR 3.434 billion achieved in 2013, while ABank delivered a net operating income of QR 849 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2014 which represents 21.8 percent of the total net operating income, the press release noted.
In turn, Commercial Bank Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Saleh Al Raisi said the bank's performance in 2014 reflects refocusing on its own strategy. "Across our franchise, we are driven by a returns based approach to our markets. We have made and continue to make the necessary investments across our assets in terms of leadership teams, operations and marketing to ensure Commercial Bank’s continued innovative and client-focused service.
"All of our operations have generated good levels of profit momentum for the year with ABank delivering the stand-out performance for the year as the value of our strategy for our Turkish subsidiary is now flowing through to the bottom line. We have a solid platform from which to generate additional growth domestically and increasingly between our regional markets and we look forward to our prospects in 2015," Al Raisi added.
Commercial Bank's net interest income was QR 2.581 billion for the year, 17.9 percent higher than in 2013, "reflecting strong growth in lending activities and the full year contribution and consolidation of ABank," according to the press release.
Total operating expenses were up 12.7 percent to QR 1.62 billion compared to QR 1.437 billion in 2013.
As for Commercial Bank's associates, National Bank of Oman (NBO) and United Arab Bank (UAB) have achieved a strong financial performance, with a 15 percent improvement in profitability compared to the previous year.
NBO achieved a net profit of OMR 50 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2014 compared to OMR 41 million in 2013, an increase of 22 percent. On the other hand, UAB delivered a net profit of AED 605 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2014, which represents an increase of 9.6 percent over 2013. The net operating income for the year increased by 32 percent to AED 1.373 billion from AED 1.039 billion in 2013.