The profits at People’s Leasing & Finance PLC (PLC) nearly doubled during the March quarter (4Q18) largely on higher margins, other incomes and lower operating costs as the loan book growth moderated.
According to the interim results filed with the Colombo Stock Exchange, PLC - Sri Lanka’s largest non-bank lender with an asset base of Rs.161 billion gave out only Rs.6.9 billion in new loans for the 12 months ended in March 31, 2018.
The group reported earnings of Rs.1.27 a share or Rs.2 billion for the January – March quarter from 67 cents a share or Rs.1.1 billion in total earnings reported for the same period last year. The PLC group which has an insurance unit increased its net interest income by 21 percent year-on-year to Rs.3.7 billion while the insurance company – People’s Insurance PLC – reported net earned premiums of Rs.1.1 billion, up 7.0 percent YoY.
PLC owns 75 percent stake in People’s Insurance PLC.
Meanwhile, the net fee and commission incomes also rose by 36 percent YoY to Rs.202 million and other operating income grew by 202 percent YoY to Rs.435 million. The net operating income of the group grew by 26 percent YoY to Rs. 5.2 billion.
The group made Rs.219 million as provisions for possible bad loans for the March quarter compared to Rs.188 million in the corresponding quarter last year.
Expenses also declined by 10 percent YoY to Rs. 2.1 billion. Meanwhile, for the financial year ended in March 31, 2018, PLC group reported Rs.3.05 a share or Rs.4.8 billion in total profits, up 13.2 percent YoY.
The net interest income rose by 18.2 percent YoY to Rs.13 billion while the net earned premiums from its insurance subsidiary added another Rs.4.1 billion, up 10 percent YoY. The provisions made for possible bad loans shot up to Rs.1.6 billion from a little under Rs.300 million in the previous year.
The performance also includes Alliance Leasing & Finance Company Limited based in Bangladesh of which PLC completed acquisition of 51 percent in early December 2017.
Meanwhile deposits grew by Rs.25 billion or 56 percent during the 12 months to Rs.69.8 billion.
The company this April raised Rs.6 billion through senior debentures at between 12.4 percent and 12.80 percent.
Last week PLC said the Monetary Board of the Central Bank had granted time till September 30, 2018 to effect a merger between the company and People’s Merchant Finance PLC, an associate company.
As at March 31, 2018, State-owned People’s Bank held 15 percent stake in PLC while Employees’ Provident Fund held 5.43 percent stake being the second largest shareholder.