ISLAMABAD (Online) – The Habib Bank Limited has announced consolidated earnings of Rs8.4b (EPS Rs5.7) as compared to Rs9.9bn (EPS Rs6.8) in the same period last year.

The bank also announced final cash dividend of Rs3.5/share, taking total dividend for the year to Rs10.5/share. The results were in line with market expectations.

Earnings of HBL were down 15% YoY in 4Q2015 driven by non-interest expense that went up by 18% YoY to Rs12.7b amid increased focus on technology, brand and human resource of the company.

Total provisioning expense also increased by to Rs1.7b in 4Q2015 versus Rs443m in 4Q2014 affecting the bottom-line of HBL. This was due to higher provisions against non-performing loans (NPLs) which increased to Rs2.3b vs. Rs419m in the same period last year.

HBL booked net reversals of Rs535mn against investments. Net Interest Income (NII) of HBL increased by 2% YoY to Rs19.7b in 4Q2015 as major investment in long term high yielding Pakistan Investment Bonds (PIBs) and balance sheet growth supported NII.

Markup interest earned was down 4% to Rs35.1b whereas markup interest expense was down 10% to Rs15.3b.

Non-interest income of the bank went up by 5% to Rs7.1b driven by growth in fee, commission & brokerage income which surged by 49% to Rs5.7b.

On QoQ basis, earnings declined by 16% following higher provisioning charge and lower non-interest income during the quarter. NII of the bank grew by 3% QoQ which remained lower than the peer banks including MCB and UBL that were up 4% and 6% respectively.