(MENAFN - Arab Times) Gulf Bank announced a net profit of KD 30.9 million in 2012 against KD 30.6 million in 2011 with earnings per share standing at 12 fils. Closing 2012 with strong results in its fourth quarter, officials highlighted a net profit of KD 8.5 million against 3.2 million for the same period in 2011.
As of the end of December 2012, the Bank's total assets reached KD 4,847 million, deposits grew to KD 4,094 million, the loan book increased by 4.9% whilst total shareholders' equity measured up to KD 449 million. The board of directors has recommended to the General Assembly a 5% bonus shares to be distributed to the shareholders, approved by the Central Bank of Kuwait.
The operating profit before provisions stood at 121.4 million registering a 13 percent growth from KD 107.7 million in 2011 on account of improved margins and higher non-recurring items. Net operating profit amounted to 32.5 million up from 32.1 million in 2011. Net interest income rose from KD 106 million in 2011 to KD 117.7 million mainly due to improved margins. In continuing with the strategy to build a fortress balance sheet, the precautionary general reserve was increased to over KD 148M.
Qualifying Tier 1 capital comprising of paid-up share capital, reserves, retained earnings and treasury shares increased to KD 425.8 million from KD 406.4 million in the previous year with growth in retained earnings and reserves. Qualifying Tier 2 capital which includes property revaluation reserve, fair valuation reserves, general provisions and subordinated debt, eased lower to KD 81.7 million from KD 97 million in Dec 2011 as a result of applied cumulative discount factor based on the maturity profile of subordinated debt.
Chairman Mahmoud Abdul Khaleq Al-Nouri stated that the bank had consolidated its return to profitability during the year, adding, "This year's results show the continuation of a strong and solid performance by Gulf Bank. In Consumer Banking we have raised the bar with our 'We Promise' program, guaranteeing the best and fastest banking services, which, along with our strong leadership and management team, has contributed to solid growth and increased market share. Furthermore, on the Corporate Banking front, Gulf Bank was mandated as the lead manager to help finance two of the largest and most complex projects in Kuwait."
He also shared that the bank had worked hard to ensure complete compliance with new banking regulatory requirements relating to risk management systems and corporate governance, as announced by the Central Bank of Kuwait. "We have set up a special management committee headed by the Chairman of the board, to ensure that we adhere to all deadlines set by the Central Bank. A number of requirements have already been implemented and the Bank's management of these areas operate in full accord with central bank of Kuwait and capital market authourity Regulations. "
In 2012, the Bank successfully completed its 2-year Turnaround Plan and embarked on its new 2012-2015 Plan that focuses on expanding the Bank's activities across three main pillars - "Solidify our gains, Accelerate our growth, and Surpass our limits." Gulf Bank received numerous awards in various disciplines across the Bank, and was honored to be named The Best Bank by The Banker- a leading Financial Times publication. The Gulf Bank affirmed its position as the leading Kuwaiti employer by winning the Localization Award from the GCC Council of Ministers for Social Affairs and Labour for the 8th consecutive year and is the first Kuwaiti bank to achieve this status.
Gulf Bank concluded its Corporate Social Responsibility program for 2012, which focused on Blood Donation. The Bank also worked alongside a number of organizations conducting many social activities throughout the year and serving the underprivileged and community as a whole. "We continue to set the industry benchmark for outstanding customer service with our 'We Promise' program, while maintaining world-class operating efficiency and enjoying solid and consistent growth in our top line revenue. We are contributing to Kuwait's economic growth and prosperity and we strive to deliver an outstanding return on our shareholders' investment," Al Nouri concluded.