Lebanon’s Bank Audi has reported a 12.7 per cent rise in net profit for the first quarter of 2011, compared with the same period in 2010, rising from $80.2m to $90.4m.

Earnings per share grew 10.3 per cent from $0.22 to $0.24. Shareholders’ equity amounted to $2.4bn, representing 25 per cent of the consolidated equity of the Lebanese banking sector.

Loan loss provisions rose from 72.6 per cent in December 2010 to 75.4 per cent in March 2011.

Deposits reached $24.9bn and the bank’s assets grew only by 0.9 per cent in the first quarter to reach $28.9bn.

“The bank’s results fully translate the strategic choices and orientations of the group that revolve around consolidating its activity and reinforcing its presence in the Middle East & North Africa region,” reads a statement issued by Bank Audi.