LB Finance PLC (LBF), a Dhammika Perera-controlled licensed finance company, recorded higher profits exceeding Rs.1 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2016 (3Q17), supported by higher loans and leases extended during the period, which in turn improved the company’s margins.
According the interim accounts filed with the Colombo Stock Exchange this week by the firm, becoming the second listed company to do so, LBF booked a net profit of Rs.7.40 a share or Rs.1.02 billion, an increase of 9.0 percent year-on-year (YoY). For the nine months ended in December 31, 2016, the company posted a net profit of Rs.20. 82 a share or Rs.2.88 billion, up 15 percent over the same period last year.
The loans, leases and advances grew by 19.4 percent or Rs.13.9 billion during the nine months to December 31 up to Rs.85.4 billion. LB Finance’s growth in advances is even higher than some of the small-sized banks’ advances growth.
The company’s return on equity stands as high as 33.67 percent. The proposed Rs.2.0 billion minimum capital for a licensed finance company should not worry LB Finance because the company already operates with an equity capital of Rs.12.3 billion.
The company has a total asset base of Rs.95.7 billion, becoming Sri Lanka’s third largest licensed finance company.
LB Finance aggressively promotes leasing and hire purchase on motor bicycles and three-wheelers besides microfinancing at exponentially higher rates.
However, the country’s Central Bank wants to see a slower credit growth and the Finance Ministry has advised the Central Bank to implement reduced loan-to-value (LTV) ratios on motor vehicle finances, specially three-wheelers and motor cars.
Analysts and economists still hold a tightening bias on the policy rates as the inflation has been edging up partly due to the base effects and also due to high money in circulation and the supply side constraints due to the prevailing drought conditions.
As of December 31, Dhammika Perera-controlled Vallibel One PLC together with Royal Ceramics Lanka PLC held 77.83 percent of LB Finance PLC.