ATB Financial Announces Record First Quarter Results



    EDMONTON, Aug. 28 /CNW/ - ATB Financial reported first quarter earnings
of $64.5 million for the period ending June 30, 2007. Increased operating
revenue of $207.2 million, up $30.6 million or 17.35 per cent, was offset by
growth in non-interest expenses of $22.9 million or 20.28 per cent. ATB's
equity now stands at $1.7 billion, up 18.04 per cent compared to June 30,
2006.
    "ATB Financial has had an excellent start to the year with a very strong
financial performance. Our results represent the strongest first quarter in
our history," said Dave Mowat, President and CEO, ATB Financial. "We continue
to see growth in net interest income, driven by strong growth in loans and
deposits. With a strong business plan and a commitment to focus on the
customer, ATB continues to capitalize on Alberta's strong economy."

    
    Highlights of ATB Financial's first-quarter results:

    (for the complete First Quarter financial results (p/e June 30, 2007),
    please visit www.atb.com)

    -   Net income of $64.5 million, up 3.93 per cent.
    -   Total assets of $21.4 billion, up 14.09 per cent.
    -   Net loans of $17.7 billion, up 15.64 per cent.
    -   Total deposits of $19.3 billion, up 13.74 per cent.
    -   Operating revenue of $207.2 million, up 17.35 per cent.
    -   Non-interest expenses of $136.1 million, up 20.28 per cent.
    -   Efficiency ratio (non-interest expenses as a percentage of operating
        revenues) rose to 65.68 per cent from 64.08 per cent.
    

    Operational Highlights

    Personal and Business Financial Services - This line of business
continues to see strong growth. Loan growth in the first quarter was
$598.0 million compared to $340.5 million in the first quarter last year, up
75.62 per cent. Deposit growth was also strong at $528.6 million, but declined
compared to growth for the prior year of $790.6 million, down 33.14 per cent.

    Branch Network - During the first quarter, ATB Financial opened a new
branch, Edmonton - The Grange, which represented our 155th branch. Our 156th
branch, Edmonton - The Meadows opened in July 2007.

    ATB Investor Services - Despite limited market growth, assets under
management and administration grew by $228.7 million or 6.15 per cent, up from
growth of $164.9 million a year ago. Assets under management and
administration were $3.95 billion at the end of the quarter, an increase of
50.62 per cent over the prior year.

    Corporate Financial Services - CFS comprises the three sub-lines of
Energy, Commercial and Food & Forestry. In the first quarter, CFS grew its
loan book by $94.8 million or 2.74 per cent compared to last year's growth of
$122.1 million.

    Deposit balances remained relatively flat this quarter, compared to an
increase of $204.4 million in the same quarter last year.
    Operating revenue grew by $2.4 million or 11 per cent this quarter,
compared to $1.8 million or 11 per cent for the same period last year, with
strong individual performances in each sub-line.

    Asset Backed Commercial Paper

    As of August 24, ATB Financial held $945 million of non-bank asset backed
commercial paper. As also announced on that date, we acquired an additional
$255 million of these investments through an exchange of ATB Money Market
investments held through our Investor Services subsidiaries. These
$1.2 billion of assets are now held in our corporate investment portfolio.
    As is the case with other institutional investors and financial
institutions, ATB Financial invests a portion of our assets in investment
grade (R1-high) instruments for short-term liquidity purposes. Recent market
instability has brought the liquidity of this particular category of non-bank
asset backed commercial paper into question. We continue to have confidence in
the quality of the underlying assets and cash flows. ATB Financial, as a
signatory to the "Montreal Accord", will participate actively in ensuring an
orderly restructuring of these assets to longer-term financial instruments.
    While the short-term liquidity of these investments has been affected,
ATB maintains a strong liquidity position and the re-categorization of these
assets will not affect our ability to maintain and increase our growth in the
province.

    ATB in the Community

    Thanks to the generous support of our customers and dedication of our
associates, ATB is donating $440,000 to the Stollery Children's Hospital and
Alberta Children's Hospital Foundations.
    The proceeds will support the Telehealth program in both hospitals. 
Telehealth allows children, their families, and professional staff to be
connected with other health care sites in real time for clinical, educational,
or administrative purposes.  Physicians in rural areas will have access to
24-hour telemedicine services in Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Grande Prairie,
High Level, and Fort McMurray.
    Since 2000, the Teddy for a Toonie campaign has raised more than
$1,900,000 for Alberta children's health and wellness.
    For the second year in a row, ATB donated $50,000 to an Edmonton Habitat
for Humanity Women Build project.  The funds contributed by ATB are being used
for construction of a tri-plex in the Norwood community.  A team of 150 ATB
women associates volunteered for a week at the construction site in May.
    The ATB Financial Classic was held June 25 - July 1 at the Calgary Elks
Lodge and Golf Club.  Professionals from around the world competed at this
inaugural stop on the Canadian Professional Golf Tour to compete for a purse
of $150,000.
    In keeping with our strong commitment to the community, ATB donated
$22,510 to the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation, the 2007 ATB Financial
Classic charity beneficiary.

    First Quarter - Economic Review & Outlook

    The Alberta economy continues to remain strong and lead the country in
growth. While it had been anticipated that 2007 might experience some
slowdown, most indicators point to continued robust economic activity.
    ATB Financial's Business Sentiments Index(TM) for the third quarter of
2007 rose to 152.5, a substantial increase from the 140.3 from the second
quarter of this year. The upward trend is reaching 2006 levels. Anticipated
growth will accelerate, especially in northern Alberta and in the oil and gas
sector.
    Over the past several months, additional future investments in the
oilsands and in upgrading capacity have been announced. These multi-year,
multi-billion dollar projects are in addition to more than $100 billion in
previously announced projects. However, in the conventional gas drilling
business, wells drilled and utilization rates are significantly lower than
last year. Inflation continues to be a major threat in the province driven
almost entirely by increased costs of housing and rental accommodations.
Housing prices in Edmonton have risen sharply whereas Calgary prices have
moderated somewhat.
    The Alberta labour market continues to operate at or above capacity with
unemployment at 30 year lows. Labour shortages will continue to be the primary
challenge facing businesses in the province.

    About ATB Financial

    ATB Financial is the largest Alberta-based financial institution in
Canada with assets of $21.4 billion that provides Personal and Business
Financial Services, Investor Services, and Corporate Financial Services. ATB
Financial serves more than 600,000 Albertans in 244 communities through 156
branches and 134 agencies. Services are also available through a Customer
Contact Centre, Automated Banking Machines, Internet and telephone. ATB
Financial was established in 1938 and is a provincial Crown corporation since
1997. For further information about ATB Financial, visit www.atb.com.

    Caution Regarding Forward Looking Statements

    This report may include forward-looking statements. ATB Financial from
time to time may make forward-looking statements in other written or verbal
communications. These statements may involve, but are not limited to, comments
relating to ATB's objectives or targets for the short and medium term, our
strategies or actions planned to achieve those objectives, targeted and
expected financial results and the outlook for our operations or the Alberta
economy. Forward-looking statements typically use the words "anticipate",
"believe", "estimate", "expect", "intend", "may", "plan" or other similar
expressions or future or conditional verbs such as "could", "should", "would"
or "will".
    By their very nature, forward-looking statements require ATB's management
to make numerous assumptions and are subject to inherent risks and
uncertainties, both general and specific. A number of factors could cause
actual future results, conditions, actions or events to differ materially from
the targets, expectations, estimates or intentions expressed in the
forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to:
changes in our legislative or regulatory environment; changes in ATB's
markets; technological changes; changes in general economic conditions,
including fluctuations in interest rates, currency values and liquidity
conditions; and other developments, including the degree to which ATB
anticipates and successfully manages the risks implied by such factors.
    ATB cautions readers that the aforementioned list is not exhaustive.
Anyone reading and relying on forward-looking statements should carefully
consider these and other factors that could potentially have an adverse affect
on ATB's future results, as there is a significant risk that forward-looking
statements will not prove to be accurate.
    Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as
actual results may differ materially from plans, objectives and expectations.
ATB does not undertake to update any forward-looking statement contained in
this report.





For further information:

For further information: Marvin Polis, Acting Director, Corporate
Communications, ATB Financial, (780) 408-7307, E-mail: mpolis@atb.com


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