ISLAMABAD - Askari Bank (AKBL) announced half year earnings (profit before tax) at Rs.12.157 billion depicting a YoY increase of 80% on the back of strong delivery by all business segments. Profit after tax at Rs.6.313b (EPS: Rs.5.01) shows an increase of 53% YoY, less than PBT growth primarily due to an extraordinary jump in income tax levy on banking companies announced by the federal government in recent budget.

Total revenues increased by 11% YoY to Rs.23 billion contributed by robust growth across key income streams. Operating expenses were well contained and effectively declined by 3% YoY despite the addition of 23 new branches and high inflation. This trend reflects the effective implementation of various cost rationalization initiatives and has also placed AKBL’s cost to income ratio amongst the best in industry for the current period.

The total asset base grew by 23% during the six months to Rs.1.54 trillion (38% YoY). Askari Bank has been pursuing a strategy to grow market share of retail business, particularly retail deposit and current accounts in the business hubs of central and south regions. The results of the strategy are reflecting in the current financial results; current accounts grew to Rs 355 billion, with total deposits at Rs.1.085 trillion. Current account mix improved to 32.7% with the CASA (current and saving accounts) ratio increasing from 80% in December’21 to 82% in June ’22. The Bank continued to facilitate all sectors of the economy particularly lending to private sector and trade business; the loan portfolio increased by 14% over December ‘21 to Rs.578 billion (26% YoY).

The Bank has been assigned entity rating of ‘AA+’ (Double A Plus) with stable outlook. The Bank’s strong brand and affiliation with Fauji Foundation are recognized as the key rating drivers, supported by strengths in terms of market penetration, customer confidence, sustainable funding sources and income generating avenues.

Going forward, AKBL will continue to drive business growth supported by enhanced governance, compliance, credit and effective risk management. Bank plans to grow market share in retail segment, particularly low-cost and saving deposits which aligns well with the branch network expansion. Emphasis will remain on boosting trade volumes with primary focus on middle market segment while pursuing digital transformation and process improvements. The Bank is creating a caring culture and as a socially conscious organization taking steps to support the needs for persons with disabilities. The Bank will continue to invest in human capital fostering a service culture that encourages collaboration and innovation.