Bank Alfalah maintained its growth in profitability, which increased 7 percent year-on-year to stand at Rs. 9.2 billion by the end of the third quarter of 2019.
According to the financial results, the bank earned a profit of Rs 9.242 billion by the end of September 2019 compared to a profit of Rs. 8.629 billion reported in the same period last year despite the Super Tax charge levied for 2017 through the mini-budget in 2019.
The earnings per share of the bank increased to Rs. 5.20 from or Rs. 4.87 per share.
The bank’s pre-tax profits grew by 16% from a year ago, amidst a challenging operating environment.
Higher spreads along with improved average deposits, rising average advances, and effective balance sheet management have contributed to a strong rise in net interest income. Fee and commission income stood 12% higher than the same period last year. Gains realized on government securities last year and bearish stock market sentiments during the first half of 2019 are the reasons behind lower capital gains and impairment charges.
Administrative expenses increased by 21% against the corresponding reporting period. The main factors behind this are technology, marketing, deposit protection insurance which is a new levy, new initiatives like branch openings along with the overall impact of inflationary adjustments and PKR devaluation. The cost to income ratio of the bank has improved to 53% from 56% for the same period last year, as a testament to the bank’s focus on cost control.
The bank continued its focus on increasing no-cost deposits with CASA mix improved to 80% as of Sep 30, 2019, compared to 77% as of Dec 31, 2018.
Credit performance remained strong across businesses. The bank’s gross advances were reported at Rs. 490.664 billion, down by 5% being seasonal impact. At the end of September, the bank remains adequately capitalized with CAR at 16.87%.
Commenting on the bank’s performance over the quarter, Nauman Ansari, CEO, Bank Alfalah said,
Although, the importance of the branch in attracting and retaining customers would remain, however, the retail banking industry is fast embracing a mobile-centric customer experience. Bank Alfalah’s investment in both, branches and digital technologies, has increased meaningfully due to consumers’ constantly evolving demands.