National Bank of Abu Dhabi on Monday beat analysts’ forecasts even though growth in first-quarter net profit was flat to last year.
The biggest bank in the United Arab Emirates by market value posted a net profit of Dhs1.41 billion ($383.9 million), unchanged from the first quarter a year earlier.
That topped an average of Dhs1.20 billion forecast by analysts polled by Reuters.
“Overall, we produced very good ‘business as usual’ results in a marketplace in which we continue to see margin compression,” CEO Alex Thursby said in the earnings statement.
“Our strategy enables us to generate growth at acceptable returns for our shareholders in this competitive environment.”
UAE banks in general have recorded impressive growth in the first quarter, continuing the trend from 2013, as the economy rebounds from a real estate crash and debt problems at Dubai government-linked entities.
For NBAD, a 2.7 per cent gain in first-quarter net interest income was offset by a 4.4 per cent year-on-year drop in non-interest income.
Impairment charges were Dhs251 million, down 22 per cent year on year.
Customer deposits rose 11.3 per cent from the end of 2013 to Dhs235 billion helped by inflows from government-related entities.
However, NBAD’s loans and advances fell 2.9 per cent during the first quarter to Dhs178.5 billion at the end of March.