National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) reported flat full-year profits yesterday, while fourth-quarter earnings fell shy of estimates, as the Gulf state's largest lender grappled with what it called a "challenging operating environment."
The lender said net profit was 302.4 million dinars ($1.1 billion) in 2011 compared with 301.7m in 2010.
Fourth-quarter profits stood at 76.8m, according calculations based on previously issued results, down from 77.16m in the prior-year period.
Analysts had forecast, on average, profit of 77.47m dinars, in a poll
NBK chief executive Ibrahim Dabdoub said "2011 was another challenging year."
"NBK's strong performance despite the weakening operating environment, the ongoing pressures on the global economy as well as the political unrest in the Middle East is testimony to the success of the bank's conservative strategy and focus on its core banking operations," he said. Total assets rose 5.6 per cent in 2011 to 48.9bn dinars, while net operating income was up 8.4pc to 540m dinars last year.