The Board of Directors of Bank Alfalah Limited in its meeting held on April 22, 2021, approved the Bank’s unaudited condensed interim financial statements for the quarter ended Mar 31, 2021.
The Bank posted profit after taxation of Rs. 3.471 billion which is 23% higher against Rs. 2.281 billion for the corresponding quarter last year. The results reflect strong underlying performance across businesses, supported by the improving economy. Lower NPL charge also eased pressure on the profitability of the Bank. Earnings Per Share (EPS) stood at Rs. 1.95 (Mar 2020: Rs. 1.59).
Asset quality remained strong, denoted by non-performing loans ratio of 4.18% at end March 2021, marginally lower than December end. Absolute non -performing loans reduced by Rs. 506 million during the first three months.
Revenue was marginally down from last year. The key reason being sharp decline of 625 bps in the discount rate leading to 12.3% drop in net markup income, however, increase in earning assets and deposits supported revenue. Non-markup income stood at Rs. 3.833 billion, increasing by 41.5%, with strong contribution from capital gains and fee income.
Non-markup expenses were 4.5% higher compared to the same period last year, driven largely by higher compensation costs, the full year impact of new branches opened last year along with expenses attributable to new initiatives. The Bank continues to invest in technology, people and businesses while maintaining credit discipline, to improve market share and to become the leading transactions bank. The cost to income ratio of the Bank stood at 59.7%.
The Bank’s focus remains on re-profiling its deposit base. Total deposits stood at Rs. 913.213 billion, 20.9% up year on year and 3.6% higher than December 2020. Current deposits are the main driver, up 25.1% year on year and 5.9% since December 2020. The Bank’s CASA ratio of 79.7% remains a leading indicator in the industry. Gross advances were reported at Rs. 606.838 billion, up by 16.6% year on year and 1.0% versus December 2020. At quarter end, our gross advances to deposits ratio stood at 66.5%.
The shareholders’ equity of the Bank dropped mainly due to dividend payout and AFS gain realized during the quarter. At the close of the first quarter, the Bank remains adequately capitalised with CAR at 15.60%.