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Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank  (ADCB) posted a 31 per cent increase in first-quarter net profit on Tuesday, beating analysts' forecasts, boosted by strong returns from fees and lending.

It made a net profit attributable to equity shareholders of Dh1.25 billion ($340.3 million) in the three months ended March 31, versus Dh953 million in the corresponding period of 2014, it said in a statement.

Five analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast net profit for the quarter of Dh1.08 billion.

The fourth-largest lender by market value in the UAE is the fourth bank in the country to report earnings so far this quarter, with all registering double-digit profit growth.

Driving ADCB's earnings growth was higher fees from corporate and retail banking, which lifted overall net fee and commission income by 32 per cent to Dh375 million in the first quarter from the corresponding period of last year.

Banks in the UAE have fallen back on fee income growth as tough competition has pressured profit margins in the lending market.

Still, the bank said total net interest and Islamic financing income gained 19 per cent to Dh1.64 billion over the same time period.

This was aided by a 7 per cent year on year increase in total lending, which stood at Dh141.1 billion at the end of March.