KARACHI: The Board of Directors of Habib Metropolitan Bank Ltd (HMB) met on Thursday and Friday to review the bank’s performance and announce its financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2019.

According to the financials, the bank’s profit after tax increased to Rs6.96 billion in the year ending December 31, 2019, as compared to Rs6.42 billion in the corresponding period last year, showing a growth of 8.42pc.

The bank declared a final cash dividend of Rs2.50 per share, or 25pc.

The bank’s earnings per share (EPS) clocked in at Rs6.34, which is a small increase from Rs5.90 during the same period last year.

Despite the marginal increases, both the bank’s profit and EPS were below analysts’ expectations.

The bank’s profits have been hovering around the Rs6 billion mark for the last four years, after crossing the Rs7 billion mark in 2015.

The bank’s net interest income stood at Rs17.96 billion, or an increase of 7.88pc. According to Taurus Securities, this was due to a “significant surge in interest expenses which can be attributed to higher cost of funds, due to lower current accounts concentration.”

The non-markup income rose 21.49pc to Rs7.41 billion. Though the bank’s non-markup income suffered heavy capital losses, the income was buoyed by the increase in fee income and foriegn exchange income.

The fee and commission income, which is earned mainly through trade business and general banking services, rose by 27.78pc over 2018 to Rs5.29 billion; and the bank’s foreign exchange income increased to Rs3.12 billion this year, or a substantial increase of 108.02pc.

Its dividend income for the year ended December 31, 2019, was recorded at Rs101.7million, which was a decrease of 1.36pc from the year before.

The bank’s profit before tax stood at Rs11.6 billion for the year ended December 31, or a growth of 12.41pc over 2018. Its profit before provisions increased 12.31pc to Rs12.05 billion.

On a quarterly basis, earnings declined 12pc QoQ basis; according to analysts, it was due to capital losses and lower income from foreign exchange in that quarter.

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