By Sam Bridge
First Abu Dhabi Bank says performance driven by 'solid underlying performance' in a 'challenging environment'
First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), the UAE’s largest bank, on Tuesday announced a full year net profit of AED12.5 billion ($3.4 billion) in 2019, up 4 percent on the previous year.
The bank said operating income at AED20.2 billion, also up 4 percent, was driven by a "solid underlying performance" in a "challenging environment".
FAB’s board of directors, chaired by Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has recommended the distribution of a cash dividendper share of 74 fils, implying total cash dividends of AED8.08 billion for the full year, subject to shareholders’ approval next month.
The bank said loans and advances at AED408 billion were up 16 percent year-on-year while customer deposits at AED519 billion, rose by 12 percent.
Sheikh Tahnoon said: “2019 marked another year of growth for FAB, despite challenging market conditions regionally and internationally. The group’s solid financial results for the full year of 2019 are testament to the strength of our leading corporate and retail businesses, and demonstrate clear progress in our strategy as we continue to better serve our clients in the UAE and across our global network.
"We are starting off 2020 with a robust capital position, enabling us to support our future growth plans in the UAE and across strategic markets.”
Abdulhamid Saeed, group CEO, added: "These results were driven by the solid underlying performance of our core businesses despite challenging operating conditions, including a reversal of the interest rate cycle in the second half of the year.
“Looking ahead, we remain firmly committed to maximising shareholder returns, and supporting our employees, customers and the communities we operate within as we grow stronger, together.”