Hatton National Bank PLC (HNB), the second biggest private bank in the country with an asset base of Rs.625 billion, said its net profit for the March quarter (1Q15) rose 75 percent year-on-year (YoY) to Rs.1.91 billion.
The earnings per share during the quarter improved to Rs.4.75 from Rs.2.74 reported for the same period of the previous year.
The net interest income of the banking group increased 9 percent YoY to Rs.6.9 billion, despite a 6 percent drop in interest income. The interest expenses during the quarter fell at a faster pace of 18 percent due to lower interest rates.
The net fee and commission income rose 12 percent YoY to Rs.1.25 billion.
The bank said the growth was mainly through trade facilities, remittances and increased credit card volumes.
In 1Q14, due to the drop in gold prices, HNB incurred interest and capital losses on account of pawning. In the absence of the same in the quarter under review, the collective impairment reduced in 1Q15 to Rs.407.8 million.
The banking group’s total operating expenses rose 13 percent YoY to Rs.5.3 billion with personal expenses increasing 16 percent YoY to Rs.2.26 billion.
However, at the bank level, the operating expenses were contained to 3 percent YoY.
The loan book grew by over Rs.12 billion during the first three months of 2015, at a rate of 3 percent compared to the levels at December 31, 2014.
This loan book expansion was funded through the deposit growth of over Rs.16.5 billion during the first quarter.
“The bank’s focus and efforts on mobilizing low-cost deposits despite intense competition within the industry enabled the bank to record a YoY growth of 29 percent in the rupee CASA base with the CASA ratio improving to 47 percent,” HNB said.
Commenting on the strong performance, HNB PLC Managing Director/CEO Jonathan Alles stated, “We are pleased with the robust growth recorded during the first quarter of 2015 amidst volatile market conditions. This strong overall performance, amply demonstrates the clear strategic focus of the bank, delivering sustainable value to all stakeholders.”
He further stated, “Our efforts on driving sales through dedicated teams, continuously improving process efficiency and innovations in digital banking have enabled the bank to record superior performance.”
The capital adequacy ratios of the bank remained well above the regulatory requirements.