Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Philippines' Metrobank posts 10% hike in profit

Eileen A. Mencias
Manila Standard

METROPOLITAN Bank and Trust Co., the country’s second- largest bank, reported a 10-percent increase in its consolidated net income for the first quarter of the year to P2.09 billion from P1.99 billion a year ago.

On an annualized basis, the Metrobank group’s net income translates to a return on equity of 11.53 percent, higher than the 10.19 percent reported a year ago.

“We are encouraged by the strong performance of our core banking operations amidst the global financial crisis. Volumes grew steadily in tandem with our thrust to preserve credit quality, while margins expanded as a result of better credit spreads and improved deposit mix,” the bank’s president Arthur Ty said over the weekend.

Metrobank’s consolidated net interest income amounted to P7.03 billion for the first quarter, a 41.5-percent jump from a year ago, while trading and foreign exchange gains soared by 68.5 percent to P1.44 billion.

“Although it seems conditions may be improving globally, until the outlook is more certain we will continue to take a cautious stance in our provisioning policy as reflected in the P1.46 billion provisions set aside for the quarter,” Ty said.

Metrobank reported a 29.22 percent growth in interest income to P12.07 billion in the first quarter from P9.34 billion a year ago but its interest expenses increased by 15.25 percent to P5.04 billion.

The bank’s corporate banking sector contributed most to the bank’s profits, accounting for P2.015 billion, followed by its treasury group at P938.7 million. Consumer banking accounted for P725.47 million of profits.

Metrobank’s consolidated assets stood at P764 billion at the end of March, some 13 percent higher than the P678 billion reported a year ago, with loans and receivables expanding by some 6 percent to P331.7 billion from P313.8 billion a year ago. Its deposits, meanwhile, increased by 12.3 percent to P554.39 billion from P493.63 billion a year ago.

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