A CBI branch in Bur Dubai. The surge in profits came from a 7 per cent increase in net operating income. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: Commercial Bank International (CBI) on Thursday reported a net profit of Dh226 million, up 29 per cent in 2018 compared to Dh175 million in 2017.

The surge in profits came from a 7 per cent increase in net operating income from Dh865 million to Dh928 million and a 9 per cent decrease in expenses from Dh448 million to Dh409 million year-on-year.

CBI’s quarterly net profit was also up by 36 per cent from Dh61 million in the third quarter of 2018 to Dh83 million in the fourth quarter 2018, mainly driven by a 35 per cent increase in net operating income from Dh225 million to Dh304 million during the same periods.

36%

Rise in net operating income from Dh225m to Dh304m

“CBI’s strong performance has been primarily driven by strong loan and deposit growth in our target segments. In 2018, we achieved a 7 per cent increase in income, while expenses fell by 9 per cent year-on-year, as a result of the continued focus on improving our efficiency through digitisation and streamlining,” said Mark T. Robinson, CEO of CBI.

In 2018, the bank’s total assets increased by Dh2 billion to Dh23 billion, while customer deposits increased by over Dh1 billion to Dh15 billion.

Wholesale banking’s relationship driven approach resulted in corporate loans and advances to grow by Dh1 billion and corporate customer deposits by Dh255 million. Islamic banking deposits increased as well, exceeding Dh600 million.

CBI’s cost-income ratio decreased by eight percentage points to 44 per cent in 2018, compared to the previous year. The cost efficiency gains were driven through digitisation, streamlining and a robust overall expense control strategy.

Credit provisions decreased by 30 per cent in 2018, due to a continued focus on strengthening the bank’s asset quality.

“Our corporate lending and customer deposits have grown substantially, and our continued focus on asset quality delivered significant improvements in credit provisions. As a result, CBI achieved solid profitability and growth in all target segments and businesses,” said Mohammad Sultan Al Qadi, chairman of CBI.