LAHORE - The Allied Bank Limited (ABL) has announced that it has posted a Profit After Tax of R4.2 billion (EPS Rs6.43) versus a PAT of Rs4.1 billion (EPS PKR 6.31) registering marginal growth of 2.0 per cent YoY. The bank also announced a final cash dividend to the tune of R1.0/share, taking the full year dividend to Rs2.5/share. A 10% bonus issue was also announced. Impairment provisioning and higher expenses kept earnings in check Omair B Chughtai, a capital market expert, said that as was expected, a significant reduction in NPL provisioning to the tune of 49.4% was witnessed over CY08. On the other hand, the benefit of this was more than offset by impairment provisioning to the tune of PKR1.8bn which the bank chose to book through its Income Statement. Factoring out the impairment, earnings would actually have registered a gain of 31.8% YoY. Non mark-up/interest income was up YoY by 5.9% in CY08. Fee, commission and brokerage rose by 11.1% while dividend income rose by 10 times. The effect of these however, was largely mitigated by reduction in gain on sale of securities which was lower by 89.5% YoY. Administrative expenses were significantly higher as well, likely owing to high inflation, by 36.1%. This too was a significant factor in pushing earnings growth down.