Ahli United Bank (AUB) reported net profit attributable to its equity shareholders of $579.4 million for the year 2013, growth of 72.6 per cent compared to $335.7m in 2012. This included an exceptional non-recurring gain of $212.9m on the sale of its 29.4pc stake in Ahli Bank Qatar (ABQ). Excluding this item, the operating net profit of the Bank was $366.5m up 25.7pc year-on-year. The last quarter of 2013 contributed $77.2m as compared to $71.5m in Q4/2012. Operating income increased from $848.7m to $958.3m in 2013 (+12.9pc), driven largely by a rise in net interest income (NII) of 12.1pc to $713.2m (2012: $636.4mi) and a 16.2pc growth in fee income from $121.4m to $141.1m. The NII increase was achieved through focused liability cost management together with prudent growth in asset volumes within acceptable risk criteria. Increased operating income and disciplined cost culture aligned to business needs across the AUB Group further improved the operating cost income ratio to 30.0pc (2012: 31.5pc). The Group's total assets grew by $2.8bn (+9.3pc) to reach $32.7bn by 2013 year-end. This is attributable to a 8.3pc growth in the loans and advances portfolio to $17.3bn (31 December 2012: $16.0bn). Credit growth was funded by a 17.4pc growth in customer deposits to reach $22.0bn (31 December 2012: $18.8bn). "AUB has managed to deliver a very strong set of results through its focused development of business opportunities and its prudent and pro-active management of risks. Of particular satisfaction was the 25.7pc surge in net profits, excluding the non-recurring impact of the Qatari affiliate stake sale. These results underpin the solidity of our business model, and AUB continues to remain confident of its ability to maintain its performance given its strong underlying fundamentals," said Chairman, AUB Fahad Al-Rajaan.