Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC (ComBank), Sri Lanka’s largest private bank in terms of assets, saw its net profit for the quarter ended March 2015 (1Q15) increasing 10 percent year-on-year (YoY) to Rs.2.5 billion.
The basic earnings per share improved to Rs.2.89 to from Rs.2.64 in the same quarter of the previous year.
The net interest income rose 10.8 percent YoY to Rs.7.28 billion, aided by higher interest income and lower expenses.
Net fees and commission income rose 20 percent YoY to Rs.1.25 billion.
The banking group made a loss of Rs.647.6 million from trading against a gain of Rs.475.1 million in the same quarter of the previous year.
The loans and receivables to customers amounted to Rs.498 billion in 1Q15, little changed from December 31, 2014.
Total deposits grew by an average of more than Rs.6 billion a month since December 31, 2014 to reach Rs.549.111 billion at the end of the quarter reviewed.
Total assets of the bank crossed the Rs.800 billion mark during the period under review and stood at Rs.807.852 billion at the end of 1Q15. Total expenses, including personnel costs, depreciation and amortisation and other expenses increased by 7.82 percent to Rs.4.148 billion.
In other key performance indicators, the bank improved its gross and net non-performing loan (NPL) ratios to 3.40 percent and 1.88 percent, respectively, from 4.4 percent and 2.54 percent a year previously.
Interest margins continued to drop and stood at 3.66 percent as at March 31, 2015.
The bank’s Tier I capital adequacy ratio reduced from 12.93 percent to 12.14 percent, while the total capital adequacy for the quarter under review reduced to 15.03 percent from 15.97 percent. These ratios however remain well above the statutory requirements.
Commenting on these results, Commercial Bank Chairman Dharma Dheerasinghe said, “Commercial Bank’s performance in the first quarter is consistent with projections and reflects the inherent strengths of the bank. There are several challenges that are common to most players in the banking sector and in that context the bank’s figures are impressive.”
Commercial Bank Managing Director Jegan Durairatnam said that the bank was able to report a commendable growth in profits despite the shrinking interest margins witnessed during the period under review.