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Saudi British Bank Q4 Net Profit Near-Flat, Misses Forecasts

Saudi British Bank Q4 Net Profit Near-Flat, Misses Forecasts

The bank made a profit of SAR969.4 million ($258.3 million) in the last quarter of 2014.

Saudi British Bank (SABB), the kingdom’s sixth-largest bank by assets, posted a 0.6 per cent drop in fourth-quarter net profit on Wednesday, missing analyst forecasts as operating expenses rose.

The bank, an affiliate of HSBC Holdings, made a profit of SAR969.4 million ($258.3 million) in the three months to Dec. 31, according to a bourse statement. This compares with a profit of SAR975.5 million in the same period a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters on average forecast the bank would make a quarterly profit of SAR1.04 billion.

The bank attributed its drop in net profit to a rise in operating expenses, but did not elaborate.

Saudi companies issue brief earnings statements early in the reporting period before publishing more detailed results later.

SABB’s net profit for 2014 was SAR4.27 billion, up 13 per cent on 2013, which it attributed to higher operating income.

The bank in December recommended a cash dividend of SAR1.05 per share for 2014, slightly higher than the SAR1 riyals per share it paid for 2013.

Loans and advances at the end of December stood at SAR115.22 billion, gaining 8.6 per cent from a year earlier, while deposits rose five per cent to SAR145.87 billion over the same period.

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