Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (Adib) reported a drop in quarterly profit on Thursday but still beat forecasts as the bank made fewer provisions for bad loans.
Abu Dhabi's biggest Shariah-compliant bank by market value had fourth-quarter net profit of Dh333 million ($90.7 million) in the final three months of 2012 compared with Dh338.6 million a year earlier, it said in a statement.
This was ahead of the three analysts average forecast for net profit of Dh224.3 million dirhams in a Reuters poll last month.
The bank was helped by an 10.8-percent fall in impairments, which dropped to Dh161.1 million from Dh180.5 million in the same three-month period of 2011.
For the full year, Adib had net profit of Dh1.49 billion, up 5 percent over 2011, aided by strong asset growth.
Total assets stood at Dh85.7 billion at the end of 2012, up 15.2 percent on the same point of the previous year. However, the bank believed this wouldn't be repeated in 2013.
"We expect 2013 to be yet another year of moderate asset growth coupled with stiff competition between banks, which will place pressure on credit margins," Tirad Mahmoud, chief executive of Adib, said in the statement.
Net customer financing totalled Dh51.2 billion in 2012, up 4.8 percent versus Dh48.8 billion in 2011 while customer deposits grew 11.2 percent to Dh61.3 billion from Dh55.2 billion in the previous year.
The bank's board recommended a cash dividend of 0.2540 dirhams per share, equivalent to 50 percent of 2012 net profit.
At a group level, net profit in the fourth quarter was Dh242.8 million versus Dh216.2 million a year ago, while full-year profit was up 4 percent over 2011 at Dh1.2 billion.
Total group provisions for the year was Dh802.3 million, down 4 percent compared to the previous year.
Adib, which raised $1 billion from a hybrid sukuk sale in November, launched a branch in the Sudanese capital Khartoum in December as part of its regional expansion plan, the first UAE lender to get a banking license in the African country.
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