Mr. Eisa M. Al Eisa, Chairman of Samba Financial Group, announced the Group's results for the financial year of 2010. Samba's net profit was SR 4435 million, reaffirming the strength of the Group's performance and its ability to overcome the challenges that the banking sector has faced both globally and regionally. The Bank achieved a net profit of SR 901 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, an increase of 8% over the same period in 2009, while revenues from banking service fees increased by 4% over the same period in 2009. Income from investments at fair value through income statement was SR 105 million compared to SR 59 million for the same period last year - an increase of 78%. Investment gains increased by 169%, along with an increase in income from other sources by 288%. The Bank's investment portfolio grew by 18% reaching SR 65 billion, while shareholders' equity increased to SR 25.6 billion compared to SR 22.5 billion for the same period last year - an increase of 14%. Samba paid SR 875 million in dividends for the first half of 2010, at 90 halalas per share (after deduction of Zakat). The Board of Directors recommends the distribution of dividends for the second half of 2010 bringing the total dividends to SR 1.65, representing 16.5% of the nominal value per share, bringing the total dividends to be distributed for 2010 to SR 1,607 million.
Al Eisa commented "the diversification strategy pursued by Samba has proved successful and led to an increase in our total assets by the end of 2010 to SR 187.4 billion, a 1% increase over last year. Our total expenses were controlled well, amounting to SR 1,910 million in 2010 compared to SR 1,952 million last year, achieving a saving rate of 2.2%".
"The Bank's positive performance was behind the promotion of its solid financial base and sizeable financial liquidity, enabling Samba to continue its distinguished financing activities during 2010. As a result of this outstanding performance, Samba's share has risen in the market by more than 21% since December 2009, which is an expression of high levels of confidence that the Bank enjoys from its shareholders" Al Eisa added.
Al Eisa commented that 2010 was a year of distinguished ratings for Samba. The Bank came top of all credit ratings in the Kingdom, making it the highest rated bank in Saudi Arabia, supported by the reports of major international rating agencies. The ratings confirmed the positive credit performance of the Group with Standard & Poor's raising its credit rating of Samba to A +, Moody's also raised its rating of Samba from A1 to Aa3, Capital Intelligence emphasised the Bank's rating at AA- and Fitch Rating emphasised the Bank's rating at A+. The Bank also maintained a stable outlook from all rating agencies, a testimony to the integrity of the financial performance of the Bank, its solid capital base and superior ability to overcome obstacles and challenges that impacted a large number of banks and financial institutions in various global markets.
Al Eisa attributed the distinguished reputation and the continued success of the Bank throughout its rally to the growing loyalty of its customers to its products and services, which have always been a catalyst for more innovative solutions that meet client aspirations. Al Eisa extended his thanks and appreciation to Samba's shareholders for their valued trust as well as to Samba's staff who have a proven track record of efficiency and ability to innovate and take the Bank to advanced ranks of excellence.